There are different types of treatment for patients with retinoblastoma.
Different types of treatment are available for patients with retinoblastoma. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment.
Hydrazine sulfate has been investigated as an anticancer treatment for more than 30 years. It has been studied in combination with established treatments as a chemotherapy agent. It has also been studied as a treatment for cancer-related anorexia (loss of appetite) and cachexia (loss of muscle mass and body weight). Similar to other hydrazine compounds, it has a core chemical structure that consists of two nitrogen atoms and four hydrogen atoms.
Hydrazine sulfate is marketed in the United States...
Because cancer in children is rare, taking part in a clinical trial should be considered. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment.
Children with retinoblastoma should have their treatment planned by a team of health care providers who are experts in treating cancer in children.
Treatment will be overseen by a pediatriconcologist, a doctor who specializes in treating children with cancer. The pediatric oncologist works with other health care providers who are experts in treating children with eye cancer and who specialize in certain areas of medicine. These may include a pediatric ophthalmologist (children's eye doctor) who has a lot of experience in treating retinoblastoma and the following specialists:
Some cancer treatments cause side effects months or years after treatment has ended.
Side effects from cancer treatment that begin during or after treatment and continue for months or years are called late effects. Late effects of cancer treatment may include the following:
Physical problems such as problems with seeing clearly.
Changes in mood, feelings, thinking, learning, or memory.
Second cancers (new types of cancer).
Some late effects may be treated or controlled. It is important to talk with your child's doctors about the effects cancer treatment can have on your child. (See the PDQ summary on Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer for more information.)
Children with the inherited form of retinoblastoma have an increased risk of developing second cancers. Children, especially those younger than 12 years, who have been treated for retinoblastoma with radiation therapy have a risk of developing second cancers. Regular follow-up by health professionals who are expert in finding and treating late effects is important.
Five types of standard treatment are used:
Enucleation is surgery to remove the eye and part of the optic nerve. The eye will be checked with a microscope to see if there are any signs that the cancer is likely to spread to other parts of the body. This is done if the tumor is large and there is little or no chance that vision can be saved. The patient will be fitted for an artificial eye after this surgery. Close follow-up is needed for 2 years or more to check the other eye and to check for signs of recurrence in the area around the eye.