Transpupillary Thermotherapy (TTT) uses an infrared laser beam to heat the tumour up and kill the cancer cells. This technique is useful if there is uncertainty if the suspicious area is a melanoma or a naevus, or if the choroidal melanoma is small and radiotherapy is inappropriate due to poor health.
This treatment is sometimes combined with plaque radiotherapy as it reduces swelling and leakage from the blood vessels. After TTT the tumour gradually shrinks down if successful. Repeat treatment may be required at 6 months.
Possible complications from this treatment include retinal detachment, blockage of blood vessels, growth of new blood vessels, iris burns and cataract. Unfortunately tumour recurrence after treatment is common. This is more likely to occur if the melanoma is thick, close to the optic nerve, or non-pigmented.