Ocular Melanoma Cluster

Dr. Carol Shields shares her professional insight on the Ocular Melanoma Clusters happening in Auburn.
We first heard of a potential ‘cancer cluster’ several years ago in North Carolina, but the state and CDC studied the situation and concluded that this was not likely a cluster. Several of the patients were treated by our team in Philadelphia and there was specific inquiry into environmental or genetic relationship which proved negative. Much of this cluster was attributed to rapid communication through social media.   


Then the Auburn cluster was noted, but still there is no epidemiologic evidence of a true cluster and not all of the cases are validated. Again, some are a result of social media. 


However, the most curious part of this story is that many of these patients are fairly young women and men. Further investigation into this unusual situation is warranted.”


– Carol L. Shields, MD Director, Wills Eye Hospital Ocular Oncology Service.