Our partners at the Liverpool Ocular Oncology Research Group conducted a study to evaluate the impact that radiotherapy (used as treatment for UM eye lesions) has on the results obtained with genetic testing. Their study revealed that successful evaluation can be obtained from UM biopsies, irrespective of irradiation status.
Tumour biopsies in UM are obtained by taking a piece of the tumour in the eye, to be latter analysed in a laboratory. This can be done using a small needle, that crosses all structures from the outside to the inside of the eye, and, when finally reaching the tumour surface, aspirating a small amount of tumour material.
There has been a great debate amidst the scientific community whether if performing a biopsy could increase the risk of the tumor spreading to other places in the body (metastases) and whether if by treating the tumor first, to decrease the risk of metastasis, the information obtained from the biopsy would be affect by the treatment itself.
This study revealed that successful evaluation can be obtained from UM biopsies, irrespective of irradiation status. Moreover, no evidence was found that biopsy prior to radiotherapy increases metastatic mortality.
You can access the original paper here.