Specialising in cataract, medical and surgical retina, ocular oncology.
Perth Retina Clinic, West Leederville, Western Australia
Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Perth Hospital
Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Western Australia.
I have been in practice as a specialist ophthalmic surgeon in Western Australia for more than 20 years. I perform cataract and retinal surgery, and have a clinical and research interest in ocular oncology (eye tumours).
Bachelor of Arts
Honours Upper Second Class
University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Bachelor of Medicine
Bachelor of Surgery
Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, UK
Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
Academic Awards and Scholarships
Distinction for Undergraduate Thesis: Visual responses of the inferior olive of the rat
Margaret Ranken Prize in Clinical Ophthalmology
Gibb Scholarship in Pathology
Duke-Elder Undergraduate Prize Examination in Ophthalmology (UK National): 4th
Special Study Research Project Prize: Electrophysiological testing in diabetic retinopathy
Ray Florence Shaw Ophthalmic Fellowship
Australian and New Zealand Society of Retina Specialists
International Society of Ocular Oncology
Oxford Ophthalmological Congress
American Academy of Ophthalmologists
American Society of Retina Specialists
European Society of Retina Specialists (EURETINA)
American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
Current Hospital Appointments
Consultant Vitreoretinal Surgeon, Royal Perth Hospital
Honorary Consultant Ophthalmologist, Princess Margaret Hospital
Accredited Ophthalmologist, St John of God, Subiaco
Accredited Ophthalmologist, St John of God, Murdoch
Accredited Ophthalmologist, St John of God, Bunbury
Accredited Ophthalmologist, Perth Eye Hospital
Visiting Medical Practitioner, Osborne Park Hospital
My particular areas of interest in ophthalmology include:
Cataract surgery (over 5000 cases to date)
Implantation of multifocal and toric intraocular lenses
Injection treatments for diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration
Laser treatment for diabetic retinopathy
Retinal detachment repair
Macular hole repair
Epiretinal membrane removal
Vitreous haemorrhage surgery
Laser surgery for retinal tears
Sutured intraocular lenses in traumatic cataract
Laser treatment of eye tumours
Photodynamic therapy for amelanotic uveal melanoma
Radioactive plaque brachytherapy for uveal melanoma
Laser vitreolysis for floaters
Medical Education and Research
I have lectured and presented in Australia and overseas in the areas of retinal surgery and ocular oncology.
I travel widely to research new and improved methods of treatment, and regularly attend national and international conferences in the areas of cataract surgery, vitreoretinal surgery, and ocular oncology. In 2014 I visited the renowned Ocular Oncology Unit in Liverpool, UK, to learn the technique of trans-retinal biopsy for choroidal melanoma, and subsequently introduced a prognostic biopsy service to Western Australia for patients with uveal melanoma.
I am involved in the teaching and training of medical students and junior doctors through my clinical appointment in the public hospital system at Royal Perth Hospital.
I have an interest in the provision of eye care to remote areas of Western Australia, and have previously worked in the East and West Kimberley, performing eye surgery on patients in Broome and Derby, and running outpatient clinics in communities such as Fitzroy Crossing, and the Central Desert areas of Australia. In 2016 I worked on the Lions Outback Vision Van, providing eye care to patients in the Pilbara towns of Roeburne and Onslow.
In 2015 and 2016 I worked as a volunteer in Vientiane, Laos, as part of a Retinal Fellowship training programme run by the charity Sight For All. This involved the teaching of retinal surgery and laser surgery to trainee retina specialists in this impoverished country. In a country of almost 7 million there is currently just one retinal surgeon and a pressing need for a better service.
I have been involved in eye research for many years as a principal investigator and co-investigator for many novel ocular therapies. In 2006 I published one of the first reports of the beneficial effects of an intravitreal injection of the anti-VEGF drug Avastin in a patient with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (Isaacs and Barry 2006, see publications). Injection treatments with this and other drugs have since become one of the major advances in the treatment of patients with diabetic eye disease. Whilst a consultant at Lions Eye Institute I was actively involved in clinical trials of different therapeutic drugs for wet macular degeneration, including ranibizumab (ANCHOR and MARINA studies) aflibercept (VIEW-2 Study), and an intravitreal dexamethasone implant for Retinal Vein Occlusion (Posurdex Study). I was an invited member of the Allergan Retina Panel at the ARVO (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology) meeting in Florida in 2007 and 2008.
In recent years I have developed a research interest in eye tumours and ocular oncology. I was part of a multicentre Australian and New Zealand study of photodynamic therapy for amelanotic uveal melanoma, which reported in 2015 at the International Society of Ocular Oncology in Paris. This demonstrated that a simple laser treatment can successfully treat some uveal melanomas.
I am currently engaged in an exciting research project in collaboration with researchers at Edith Cowan University, in which we are attempting to isolate circulating tumour cells from the blood of patients with uveal melanoma, in the hope of identifying those patients at highest risk of metastatic disease. If we are able to isolate DNA from the tumour cells with a blood test, then we may no longer need to perform biopsy of the eye tumour itself, which is technically challenging and carries risks which a blood test does not.
Deep sequencing of uveal melanoma identifies a recurrent mutation in PLCB4. Johansson P, Aoude LG, Wadt K, Glasson WJ, Warrier SK, Hewitt AW, Kiilgaard JF, Heegaard S, Isaacs TW, Franchina M, Ingvar C, Vermeulen T, Whitehead KJ, Schmidt CW, Palmer JM, Symmons J, Gerdes AM, Jönsson G, Hayward NK. Oncotarget. 2016 Jan 26;7(4):4624-31.
A large genome-wide association study of age-related macular degeneration highlights contributions of rare and common variants. Fritsche LG, Heid IM, Igl W, Bailey JNC, Isaacs TW et al. Nature Genetics 48, 134-143 2016.
Isaacs TW, Vermeulen TL, Spagnolo D, Amanuel B. “Choroidal Involvement in Rosai-Dorfman Syndrome May be Depicted and Followed Using Enhanced Depth Imaging Optical Coherence Tomography (EDI-OCT). Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology: Volume 253, Issue 10 (2015), Page 1821-1822.
Chew AL, Spilsbury K, Isaacs TW. Survival from Uveal Melanoma in Western Australia 1981-2005. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 43(5) December 2014.
Biallelic Mutations in PLA2G5, Encoding Group V Phospholipase A(2), Cause Benign Fleck Retina. Sergouniotis PI, Davidson AE, Mackay DS, Lenassi E, Li Z, Robson AG, Yang X, Kam JH, Isaacs TW, Holder GE, Jeffery G, Beck JA, Moore AT, Plagnol V, Webster AR. Am J Hum Genet. 2011;89:782-91.
Comparison of visual acuity outcomes between ranibizumab and bevacizumab treatment in neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Feng XF, Constable IJ, McAllister IL, Isaacs TW. International Journal of Ophthalmology. 2011:4:85-88
Rapid resolution of severe new disc vessels in proliferative diabetic retinopathy following a single intravitreal injection of bevacizumab (Avastin). Isaacs TW, Barry C. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 2006; 34: 802-803.
Management and Outcomes of Postoperative Endophthalmitis since the Endophthalmitis Vitrectomy Study: The Endophthalmitis Population Study of Western Australia (EPSWA)’s Fifth Report. Ng JQ, Morlet N, Pearman JW, Constable IJ, McAllister IL, Kennedy CJ, Isaacs TW, Semmens JB Ophthalmology July 2005 (Vol. 112, Issue 7, Pages 1199.e1-1199.e)
Seasonal variation in trachoma and bush flies in north-western Australian Aboriginal communities. da Cruz L, Dadour IR, McAllister IL, Jackson A, Isaacs TW. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 2002 30, 80-83
Early resolution of pre-macular haemorrhage following Nd:YAG laser photodisruption of internal limiting membrane. Isaacs TW, Barry C, McAllister IL. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Ophthalmology 1997
Favourable outcome following unusual penetrating eye injury. Isaacs TW, Barry C, Raiter J, Barrett G Australian and New Zealand Journal of Ophthalmology 1997
Postmortem identification by means of a recovered intraocular lens. Isaacs TW, Margolius KA, Chester GH. American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology 1996
Benign flecked retina. Isaacs TW, McAllister IL, Wade MS. British Journal of Ophthalmology 1996;80:267-8.
Adenocarcinoma metastatic to the choroid: diagnosis by trans-scleral biopsy. Isaacs TW, McAllister IL. Eye 1995; 9:643-646.
Reversible visual failure due to exudative retinal detachments in a patient with uncontrolled systemic hypertension. Isaacs TW, Acheson JF Journal of The Royal Society of Medicine September 1994; 87: 557-558
Visual responses of the inferior olive of the rat. Harris LR, Isaacs TW Journal of Physiology 1982; 329: 23-24.
I have four daughters aged between 20 and 12 years.
My sporting and recreational activities include the following:
Snow skiing and ski touring. In 2011 I completed the Haute Route, a high level crossing of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps
Running. I am an entrant in the 2017 City to Surf Half-Marathon
Cycling. I completed a 160km sponsored ride for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in the Barossa in 2016.
I hope you find my website useful and informative. I welcome any suggestions as to how it could be improved.
Patients may be assured of my best attention at all times.