Ocular Melanoma and Eye Tumor Program

The Ocular Melanoma and Eye Tumor Program in the Department of Radiation Oncology specializes in state-of-the-art radiation therapy for patients with malignant and benign eye tumors.


The Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Radiation Oncology is one of the few centers in the world with a proton beam line dedicated to treat ocular melanomas and other tumors of the eye. Evaluation, radiation planning, and treatment of ocular disease patients are performed in close collaboration with the retinal service at Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary. Our radiation oncologists are dedicated to preserving the eye and its normal function.

State-of-the-Art Therapies

  • Proton Eye Program: A dedicated and specialized service that relies primarily on the use of the proton eye line (hardware) system located at Francis H Burr Proton Therapy Center. Proton therapy achieves a high tumor control rate, high eye preservation rate, and a reasonably high visual preservation rate with some useful vision retained in most patients.
  • Linear Accelerator Based Therapy: Not every patient requires proton therapy for optimal care. Appropriate diagnostic studies and an evaluation by an ocular specialist are required to determine the best course of therapy. In many cases, we effectively treat patients with innovative 3D conformal radiation techniques, such as intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) or volumetric modulated arc radiotherapy (VMAT).

Personalized & Comprehensive Care

The Mass General Radiation Oncologists collaborate with the patient’s entire cancer team which may include medical oncologists and surgical oncologists. We also have a unique, close collaboration with the team at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary to provide comprehensive and individualized care for our patients.

Meet the Team

Due to our depth and breadth of expertise, we receive patient referrals from eye specialists nationwide. Our staff of accomplished radiation oncologists includes:

  • Helen Shih, MD, MPH

    Helen Shih, MD, MPH, the associate medical director of the Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center, treats ocular tumors, as well as cutaneous melanoma, brain and cranial base tumors. Dr. Shih's interests include proton therapy and enhancing clinical delivery systems to improve patient care.

  • Shannon MacDonald, MD

    Shannon MacDonald, MD, specializes in using proton beam therapy to treat ocular tumors in adults and children. Dr. MacDonald also is a principal investigator in a leading-edge study involving treatment of the chest with proton therapy.

  • Yen-Lin Chen, MD

    Yen-Lin Chen, MD, is an experienced physician who treats ocular tumors. She also specializes in sarcomas and cutaneous melanoma. She is an active researcher with expertise in various photon and proton therapy techniques.

Patient Education

We encourage you to ask us about any step in the treatment process, from understanding the safety of your therapy to managing side effects. The answers to many frequently asked questions also appear in:

Your Guide to Radiation Therapy

Clinical Trials

Massachusetts General Hospital invites patients and the community to participate in innovative clinical trials and research studies.

Search open clinical trials.


Contact Us

Clark Center for Radiation Oncology

Vida E & Arthur L. Goldstein Lunder Building

55 Fruit StreetLunder Building LL3 Boston, MA 02114
  • Near Public Transit
  • Accessible
  • Phone: 617-726- 8651
  • Fax: 857-238-6377
  • Email Us

Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center
30 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-726-0923 (Proton Inquiry Line: 617-724-1680)
Fax: 617-726-6498
Email: InformationRadOnc@partners.org

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