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Ocular Oncology Clinic

The Ocular Oncology Clinic specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of tumors that affect the eye, known as ocular tumors. The clinic is led by an internationally-renowned ophthalmologist who has treated thousands of patients from around the world with all types of ocular tumors, including over 4,000 patients with intraocular melanoma, the most common form of eye cancer.

We are also one of the only centers on the West coast offering proton beam radiotherapy, which is the gold standard of treatment for most patients with intraocular melanomas. The UCSF Ocular Melanoma Proton Radiation Program is one of the longest standing programs of its kind in the nation. Since 1978, more than 1,500 ocular melanoma patients have been treated at UCSF with proton therapy. Our experts are at the forefront of research on ocular melanoma and proton therapy.

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Conditions Treated

We specialize in diagnosing and treating all types of eye tumors, from the common to the most complex. Many patients coming to our clinic have a benign (non-cancerous) ocular tumor, such as a cyst, hemorrhage or nevus (mole). Do not assume that you have a dangerous condition just because you are referred to an "oncology" clinic.

Some of our patients do have a malignant (cancerous) tumor, most commonly intraocular melanoma and retinoblastoma, which are very rare forms of cancer. Others have what is known as a secondary ocular cancer, which starts somewhere else, such as the breast or lung, and then spreads to the eye. It is important to note that the tools and expertise required for diagnosing and treating both benign and malignant ocular tumors are often the same.

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You'll need a referral from your primary care provider or specialist to make an appointment. Once you have the referral, please call the number below.

Getting Here

Ocular Oncology Clinic
8 Koret Way
San Francisco, CA 94143-0644
Phone: (415) 514-6918
Fax: (415) 514-6919

Hours: Monday to Friday,
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

What to Bring

  • Health insurance information including authorizations or referrals
  • List of prescription medications and dosages
  • List of medications that you're allergic to
  • List of questions you may have
  • Recent test results related to your condition
  • Paper and pencil to take notes

Access Your Health Information Online

This clinic uses UCSF MyChart, an online patient service. Message your provider, request medication refills, view some test results and more.

Learn more about UCSF MyChart

Special Programs

Advanced Treatments

We offer the most advanced treatment approaches for benign and malignant ocular tumors. In some cases, a combination of therapies may be used to achieve the best possible results.

  • Proton beam radiotherapy, bombarding the tumor with proton "bullets," with great accuracy
  • Trans-scleral local resection, removing the tumor through a trap-door in the wall of the eye
  • Trans-retinal local resection, "vacuuming" the tumor through a hole in the retina
  • Trans-pupillary thermotherapy; "cooking" the tumor with a beam of infra-red laser
  • Photodynamic therapy, injecting a light sensitizer into a vein in the arm and then shining low-energy "cold" laser onto the back of the eye to activate the sensitizer as it passes through the tumor.
  • Chemotherapy, which can be given in a variety of ways (injecting therapeutic agents into a vein, which then travels around the whole body; injecting into tiny arteries behind the eye or into the eye itself, to achieve high local concentrations; or administering eye drops to treat tumors on the surface of the eye).
  • Cryotherapy, creating tiny ice crystals that act as "daggers," killing tumor cells.
  • Enucleation, removing the eye, if other methods are unlikely to conserve the eye with useful vision.

Our Team

At UCSF, we provide holistic care, treating not only the tumor itself but the whole person, including a patient's family. Our multidisciplinary team includes experts from different fields of medicine who work closely together to deliver the most effective care:

  • Ocular oncologists, specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of eye tumors
  • General oncologists, specializing in cancer care, detecting and treating tumors that have spread from or to the eye
  • Pediatric oncologists, specializing in the care of children with cancer
  • Pediatric ophthalmologists, treating eye conditions in children
  • Radiotherapists, planning and delivering different forms of radiotherapy
  • Interventional radiologists, using imaging techniques to inject therapeutic agents precisely where needed most
  • Geneticists, identifying defective genes (mutations) that influence treatment, tumor behavior and the chances of the disease being passed on from one generation to the next
  • Others, including anesthesiologists, pathologists, cytologists, social workers, psychologists, and specialist nurses
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Clinic Team

Bertil Damato
Dr. Bertil Damato,
ophthalmologist
Kavita Mishra
Dr. Kavita Mishra,
radiation cancer specialist