This leaflet is for patients who have previously been diagnosed with ocular melanoma and have been identified as having an increased risk of developing liver metastases. 

Liverpool Ocular Oncology Centre (LOOC) is one of the leading centres in the UK in the treatment of patients with ocular melanoma. Our specialist team brings together eye specialists (ophthalmologists), cancer specialists (oncologists), Imaging specialists (radiologists), liver surgeons, clinical nurse specialists and research scientists to pioneer essential cancer consultation services across the Merseyside and Cheshire network of hospitals and beyond.  

The aim of the team is to support you and your family throughout, offer expert early treatment in the event metastases are detected and to coordinate your care.

This leaflet will inform you of the liver surveillance service being offered by LOOC at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre (CCC).

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre main site is situated in Liverpool city centre with excellent road networks to Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and the rest of the UK. We have access to parking and a free shuttle bus service.

You will receive an abdominal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and a telephone clinic appointment every six months. This is a nurse-led specialist surveillance service which hopes to increase the chances of early detection of cancer recurrence by offering quick access to scan results and surgical services. It is hoped that early detection of any abnormalities may increase the treatment options available. You will be allocated a key worker who will coordinate your visits and will keep in touch with you between visits, should you require advice and support.  

You will initially be contacted via telephone by one of the nurse specialists to discuss the service and arrange your MRI. Your MRI scan will be at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre - Liverpool or Wirral site.  Your key workers are available to give additional support and advice in relation to your physical, emotional and social needs, if required, including coordinating your visits and keeping in touch in between appointments.

During the telephone appointment, you will be asked about your health and wellbeing, receive information on the service and be given the opportunity to ask any questions. Your specialist nurse will also discuss the nurse led telephone results service. Your key workers will complete a 'holistic needs assessment' to ensure that your physical, emotional and social needs are addressed. 

About the MRI scan

An abdominal MRI scan is an imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the inside of the tummy area. It does not use radiation (x-rays). The test lasts approximately 30-60 minutes, but may take longer.

For more information see The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre leaflet 'Having an MRI scan'.

Getting your results

Your MRI scan results will be available approximately 10 days later and we will contact you by telephone or arrange an alternate method as required. We will also send these results to your GP practice to keep them updated of your progress.

Should at any time the MRI scan demonstrate a change in your liver, we will Invite you back to undertake more detailed scans to help guide the diagnosis and any treatment plan.

We then contact the specialist liver team at the Liverpool Hepatobiliary Centre, Aintree University Hospital, who are a world-renowned institution specialising in the treatment of all aspects of benign and malignant diseases involving the liver and biliary tract. Your scan will be reviewed by this specialist panel of experts at a multidisciplinary team meeting. An appointment will then be made for you at to discuss their findings and advice and make a plan of care.

Following the additional scans, you may need to undergo an exploration procedure called a laparoscopy. This will be arranged at Aintree Hospital within a few weeks and is normally completed as a day case procedure which involves keyhole surgery to look inside your abdomen. This is useful for detecting additional disease and is important in deciding whether liver surgery is likely to help you or not.      

For disease suitable for surgery        

If you are suitable for a liver resection, then this will be performed at Aintree University Hospital. A liver resection is an operation to remove part of the liver, along with all tumour deposits. Most liver surgery is performed as open surgery, but in some cases keyhole surgery may be suitable. You will be given more information at your outpatient appointment about liver surgery and the enhanced recovery programme, if this applies to you.

For disease unsuitable for surgery

If the investigations reveal that a liver operation is not appropriate for you, then an appointment at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre - Liverpool will be organised to discuss alternative treatment options and a liver biopsy may be required. Your cancer doctor will advise you on the best treatment for you, dependent on your health, wishes and specific problems.         

Research into treatments for ocular melanoma is ongoing and advances are being made. We are committed to developing research within this area and work closely with the Liverpool Ocular Oncology Centre and Surgical Liver Team at Aintree University Hospital to drive forward the development of new drugs and therapies.  

You may be offered to participate in research being undertaken by the specialist team. This is optional and you will be given time to think about it and have any worries or concerns addressed. Your care will not be affected if you do not wish to take part.

Your feelings

During your diagnosis and treatment of cancer, you are likely to experience a number of emotions, from shock and disbelief to fear and anger. There is no right or wrong way to cope, but help is available if you need it. Your key workers will offer you a holistic needs assessment to ensure that your physical, emotional and social needs are addressed. 

You or your family may wish to ask some more questions - if so, your key workers are:

Skin Cancer Advanced Nurse Practitioner.....................................

Skin Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist...............................................

Cancer Support Worker........................................................................

  • Telephone: 0151 556 5565
  • Times available: Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm (09:00-16:00) (Voicemail service)

Ocumel UK

This is a UK charity which represents people suffering with ocular (uveal) melanoma.

Rare Cancers

The Rarer Cancers Foundation exists to ensure that people with rarer cancers have access to the best services and outcomes. Visit their website for more information

Melanoma Research Foundation

The Melanoma Research Foundation's initiative to advance research, provide educational resources and facilitate support for people affected by ocular melanoma can be found at:              

The Liverpool Ocular Oncology Centre

The Liverpool Ocular Oncology Centre specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of adult ocular tumours.
Liverpool Ocular Oncology Centre (LOOC) webpage 

Macmillan Cancer Support

Macmillan is a source of support, providing practical, financial, medical and emotional help.
Tel: 0808 808 00 00 (freephone)

Cancer Research UK

Trusted information on all cancer types from the UK's leading cancer charity, news about cancer and how you can help us beat cancer sooner.
Cancer Research UK - eye cancer

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust
65 Pembroke place 
L7 8YA

Tel: 0151 556 5000