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Retinoblastoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Intraocular Retinoblastoma Treatment


Treatment Options Under Clinical Evaluation

Studies are planned for a variety of patient groups. The International Classification system is being utilized for these trials. This classification schema is based on the extent and location of intraocular retinoblastoma and is being used in the ongoing series of protocols from the COG. The preliminary version of this system was verified to be reproducible with preliminary data from five centers that staged their patients on an Internet site in August 2000. Experience with a closely related grouping system has been published.[2] Data have been published using this system in a study of chemotherapy for intraocular retinoblastoma, where stage appeared to assist in prognosis for successful treatment without enucleation or EBRT.[74]

The following is an example of a national and/or institutional clinical trial that is currently being conducted. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

  • Delivery of chemotherapy via ophthalmic artery cannulation is being evaluated as an initial treatment for advanced unilateral and bilateral disease.

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with intraocular retinoblastoma. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.


  1. Shields CL, Honavar SG, Meadows AT, et al.: Chemoreduction plus focal therapy for retinoblastoma: factors predictive of need for treatment with external beam radiotherapy or enucleation. Am J Ophthalmol 133 (5): 657-64, 2002.
  2. Shields CL, Mashayekhi A, Demirci H, et al.: Practical approach to management of retinoblastoma. Arch Ophthalmol 122 (5): 729-35, 2004.
  3. Shields CL, Meadows AT, Leahey AM, et al.: Continuing challenges in the management of retinoblastoma with chemotherapy. Retina 24 (6): 849-62, 2004.
  4. Kim JW, Kathpalia V, Dunkel IJ, et al.: Orbital recurrence of retinoblastoma following enucleation. Br J Ophthalmol 93 (4): 463-7, 2009.
  5. Krasin MJ, Crawford BT, Zhu Y, et al.: Intensity-modulated radiation therapy for children with intraocular retinoblastoma: potential sparing of the bony orbit. Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 16 (3): 215-22, 2004.
  6. Reisner ML, Viégas CM, Grazziotin RZ, et al.: Retinoblastoma--comparative analysis of external radiotherapy techniques, including an IMRT technique. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 67 (3): 933-41, 2007.
  7. Lee CT, Bilton SD, Famiglietti RM, et al.: Treatment planning with protons for pediatric retinoblastoma, medulloblastoma, and pelvic sarcoma: how do protons compare with other conformal techniques? Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 63 (2): 362-72, 2005.
  8. Shields CL, Shields JA, Cater J, et al.: Plaque radiotherapy for retinoblastoma: long-term tumor control and treatment complications in 208 tumors. Ophthalmology 108 (11): 2116-21, 2001.
  9. Merchant TE, Gould CJ, Wilson MW, et al.: Episcleral plaque brachytherapy for retinoblastoma. Pediatr Blood Cancer 43 (2): 134-9, 2004.
  10. Shields CL, Mashayekhi A, Sun H, et al.: Iodine 125 plaque radiotherapy as salvage treatment for retinoblastoma recurrence after chemoreduction in 84 tumors. Ophthalmology 113 (11): 2087-92, 2006.
  11. Shields CL, Santos MC, Diniz W, et al.: Thermotherapy for retinoblastoma. Arch Ophthalmol 117 (7): 885-93, 1999.
  12. Friedman DL, Himelstein B, Shields CL, et al.: Chemoreduction and local ophthalmic therapy for intraocular retinoblastoma. J Clin Oncol 18 (1): 12-7, 2000.
  13. Gündüz K, Shields CL, Shields JA, et al.: The outcome of chemoreduction treatment in patients with Reese-Ellsworth group V retinoblastoma. Arch Ophthalmol 116 (12): 1613-7, 1998.
  14. Shields CL, Palamar M, Sharma P, et al.: Retinoblastoma regression patterns following chemoreduction and adjuvant therapy in 557 tumors. Arch Ophthalmol 127 (3): 282-90, 2009.
  15. Lumbroso L, Doz F, Urbieta M, et al.: Chemothermotherapy in the management of retinoblastoma. Ophthalmology 109 (6): 1130-6, 2002.
  16. Gombos DS, Kelly A, Coen PG, et al.: Retinoblastoma treated with primary chemotherapy alone: the significance of tumour size, location, and age. Br J Ophthalmol 86 (1): 80-3, 2002.
  17. Abramson DH, Lawrence SD, Beaverson KL, et al.: Systemic carboplatin for retinoblastoma: change in tumour size over time. Br J Ophthalmol 89 (12): 1616-9, 2005.
  18. Dunkel IJ, Lee TC, Shi W, et al.: A phase II trial of carboplatin for intraocular retinoblastoma. Pediatr Blood Cancer 49 (5): 643-8, 2007.
  19. Wilson MW, Rodriguez-Galindo C, Haik BG, et al.: Multiagent chemotherapy as neoadjuvant treatment for multifocal intraocular retinoblastoma. Ophthalmology 108 (11): 2106-14; discussion 2114-5, 2001.
  20. Rodriguez-Galindo C, Wilson MW, Haik BG, et al.: Treatment of intraocular retinoblastoma with vincristine and carboplatin. J Clin Oncol 21 (10): 2019-25, 2003.
  21. Kingston JE, Hungerford JL, Madreperla SA, et al.: Results of combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy for advanced intraocular retinoblastoma. Arch Ophthalmol 114 (11): 1339-43, 1996.
  22. Zage PE, Reitman AJ, Seshadri R, et al.: Outcomes of a two-drug chemotherapy regimen for intraocular retinoblastoma. Pediatr Blood Cancer 50 (3): 567-72, 2008.
  23. Aerts I, Sastre-Garau X, Savignoni A, et al.: Results of a multicenter prospective study on the postoperative treatment of unilateral retinoblastoma after primary enucleation. J Clin Oncol 31 (11): 1458-63, 2013.
  24. Shields CL, Mashayekhi A, Cater J, et al.: Chemoreduction for retinoblastoma. Analysis of tumor control and risks for recurrence in 457 tumors. Am J Ophthalmol 138 (3): 329-37, 2004.
  25. Wilson MW, Haik BG, Billups CA, et al.: Incidence of new tumor formation in patients with hereditary retinoblastoma treated with primary systemic chemotherapy: is there a preventive effect? Ophthalmology 114 (11): 2077-82, 2007.
  26. Shields CL, Meadows AT, Shields JA, et al.: Chemoreduction for retinoblastoma may prevent intracranial neuroblastic malignancy (trilateral retinoblastoma). Arch Ophthalmol 119 (9): 1269-72, 2001.
  27. Abramson DH, Frank CM, Dunkel IJ: A phase I/II study of subconjunctival carboplatin for intraocular retinoblastoma. Ophthalmology 106 (10): 1947-50, 1999.
  28. Villablanca JG, Jubran R, Murphree AL: Phase I study of subtenon carboplatin I with systemic high dose carboplatin/etoposide/vincristine (CEV) for eyes with disseminated intraocular retinoblastoma (RB). [Abstract] Proceedings of the XIII Biannual Meeting of ISGED and the X International Symposium on Retinoblastoma, May 4, 2001, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. USA .
  29. Marr BP, Dunkel IJ, Linker A, et al.: Periocular carboplatin for retinoblastoma: long-term report (12 years) on efficacy and toxicity. Br J Ophthalmol 96 (6): 881-3, 2012.
  30. Mallipatna AC, Dimaras H, Chan HS, et al.: Periocular topotecan for intraocular retinoblastoma. Arch Ophthalmol 129 (6): 738-45, 2011.
  31. Muen WJ, Kingston JE, Robertson F, et al.: Efficacy and complications of super-selective intra-ophthalmic artery melphalan for the treatment of refractory retinoblastoma. Ophthalmology 119 (3): 611-6, 2012.
  32. Marr BP, Brodie SE, Dunkel IJ, et al.: Three-drug intra-arterial chemotherapy using simultaneous carboplatin, topotecan and melphalan for intraocular retinoblastoma: preliminary results. Br J Ophthalmol 96 (10): 1300-3, 2012.
  33. Gobin YP, Dunkel IJ, Marr BP, et al.: Intra-arterial chemotherapy for the management of retinoblastoma: four-year experience. Arch Ophthalmol 129 (6): 732-7, 2011.
  34. Peterson EC, Elhammady MS, Quintero-Wolfe S, et al.: Selective ophthalmic artery infusion of chemotherapy for advanced intraocular retinoblastoma: initial experience with 17 tumors. J Neurosurg 114 (6): 1603-8, 2011.
  35. Abramson DH, Marr BP, Dunkel IJ, et al.: Intra-arterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma in eyes with vitreous and/or subretinal seeding: 2-year results. Br J Ophthalmol 96 (4): 499-502, 2012.
  36. Abramson DH, Marr BP, Brodie SE, et al.: Ophthalmic artery chemosurgery for less advanced intraocular retinoblastoma: five year review. PLoS One 7 (4): e34120, 2012.
  37. Bianciotto C, Shields CL, Iturralde JC, et al.: Fluorescein angiographic findings after intra-arterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma. Ophthalmology 119 (4): 843-9, 2012.
  38. Abramson DH, Dunkel IJ, Brodie SE, et al.: Superselective ophthalmic artery chemotherapy as primary treatment for retinoblastoma (chemosurgery). Ophthalmology 117 (8): 1623-9, 2010.
  39. Shields CL, Bianciotto CG, Jabbour P, et al.: Intra-arterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma: report No. 1, control of retinal tumors, subretinal seeds, and vitreous seeds. Arch Ophthalmol 129 (11): 1399-406, 2011.
  40. Shields CL, Bianciotto CG, Jabbour P, et al.: Intra-arterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma: report No. 2, treatment complications. Arch Ophthalmol 129 (11): 1407-15, 2011.
  41. Shields CL, Kaliki S, Shah SU, et al.: Minimal exposure (one or two cycles) of intra-arterial chemotherapy in the management of retinoblastoma. Ophthalmology 119 (1): 188-92, 2012.
  42. Ghassemi F, Shields CL: Intravitreal melphalan for refractory or recurrent vitreous seeding from retinoblastoma. Arch Ophthalmol 130 (10): 1268-71, 2012.
  43. Palioura S, Gobin YP, Brodie SE, et al.: Ophthalmic artery chemosurgery for the management of retinoblastoma in eyes with extensive (>50%) retinal detachment. Pediatr Blood Cancer 59 (5): 859-64, 2012.
  44. Suzuki S, Yamane T, Mohri M, et al.: Selective ophthalmic arterial injection therapy for intraocular retinoblastoma: the long-term prognosis. Ophthalmology 118 (10): 2081-7, 2011.
  45. Munier FL, Gaillard MC, Balmer A, et al.: Intravitreal chemotherapy for vitreous disease in retinoblastoma revisited: from prohibition to conditional indications. Br J Ophthalmol 96 (8): 1078-83, 2012.
  46. Levy C, Doz F, Quintana E, et al.: Role of chemotherapy alone or in combination with hyperthermia in the primary treatment of intraocular retinoblastoma: preliminary results. Br J Ophthalmol 82 (10): 1154-8, 1998.
  47. Chantada GL, Guitter MR, Fandiño AC, et al.: Treatment results in patients with retinoblastoma and invasion to the cut end of the optic nerve. Pediatr Blood Cancer 52 (2): 218-22, 2009.
  48. Eagle RC Jr: High-risk features and tumor differentiation in retinoblastoma: a retrospective histopathologic study. Arch Pathol Lab Med 133 (8): 1203-9, 2009.
  49. Uusitalo MS, Van Quill KR, Scott IU, et al.: Evaluation of chemoprophylaxis in patients with unilateral retinoblastoma with high-risk features on histopathologic examination. Arch Ophthalmol 119 (1): 41-8, 2001.
  50. Honavar SG, Singh AD, Shields CL, et al.: Postenucleation adjuvant therapy in high-risk retinoblastoma. Arch Ophthalmol 120 (7): 923-31, 2002.
  51. Chantada GL, Dunkel IJ, de Dávila MT, et al.: Retinoblastoma patients with high risk ocular pathological features: who needs adjuvant therapy? Br J Ophthalmol 88 (8): 1069-73, 2004.
  52. Cuenca A, Giron F, Castro D, et al.: Microscopic scleral invasion in retinoblastoma: clinicopathological features and outcome. Arch Ophthalmol 127 (8): 1006-10, 2009.
  53. Chantada GL, Fandiño AC, Guitter MR, et al.: Results of a prospective study for the treatment of unilateral retinoblastoma. Pediatr Blood Cancer 55 (1): 60-6, 2010.
  54. Kaliki S, Shields CL, Shah SU, et al.: Postenucleation adjuvant chemotherapy with vincristine, etoposide, and carboplatin for the treatment of high-risk retinoblastoma. Arch Ophthalmol 129 (11): 1422-7, 2011.
  55. Shields CL, Shields JA: Editorial: chemotherapy for retinoblastoma. Med Pediatr Oncol 38 (6): 377-8, 2002.
  56. Schouten-Van Meeteren AY, Moll AC, Imhof SM, et al.: Overview: chemotherapy for retinoblastoma: an expanding area of clinical research. Med Pediatr Oncol 38 (6): 428-38, 2002.
  57. Shields CL, Gorry T, Shields JA: Outcome of eyes with unilateral sporadic retinoblastoma based on the initial external findings by the family and the pediatrician. J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus 41 (3): 143-9; quiz 172-3, 2004 May-Jun.
  58. Shields CL, Honavar SG, Meadows AT, et al.: Chemoreduction for unilateral retinoblastoma. Arch Ophthalmol 120 (12): 1653-8, 2002.
  59. Zhao J, Dimaras H, Massey C, et al.: Pre-enucleation chemotherapy for eyes severely affected by retinoblastoma masks risk of tumor extension and increases death from metastasis. J Clin Oncol 29 (7): 845-51, 2011.
  60. Chawla B, Sharma S, Sen S, et al.: Correlation between clinical features, magnetic resonance imaging, and histopathologic findings in retinoblastoma: a prospective study. Ophthalmology 119 (4): 850-6, 2012.
  61. Beck MN, Balmer A, Dessing C, et al.: First-line chemotherapy with local treatment can prevent external-beam irradiation and enucleation in low-stage intraocular retinoblastoma. J Clin Oncol 18 (15): 2881-7, 2000.
  62. Murphree AL, Villablanca JG, Deegan WF 3rd, et al.: Chemotherapy plus local treatment in the management of intraocular retinoblastoma. Arch Ophthalmol 114 (11): 1348-56, 1996.
  63. Jubran RF, Murphree AL, Villablanca JG: Low dose carboplatin/etoposide/vincristine (CEV) and local therapy (LT) for intraocular retinoblastoma group II-IV eyes. [Abstract] Proceedings of the XIII Biannual Meeting of ISGED and the X International Symposium on Retinoblastoma, May 4, 2001, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. USA .
  64. Gallie BL, Budning A, DeBoer G, et al.: Chemotherapy with focal therapy can cure intraocular retinoblastoma without radiotherapy. Arch Ophthalmol 114 (11): 1321-8, 1996.
  65. Chan HSL, Heon E, Budning A, et al.: Improvement of the cure rate of intraocular retinoblastoma without significantly increasing toxicity with higher dose carboplatin-teniposide in a cyclosporine multidrug resistance-reversal regimen. [Abstract] Proceedings of the XIII Biannual Meeting of ISGED and the X International Symposium on Retinoblastoma, May 4, 2001, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. USA .
  66. Villablanca JG, Atchaneeyasakul L, Murphree AL: Clinical outcome of group V eyes treated with cyclosporin A (CSA)/carboplatin/etoposide/vincristine (CEV). [Abstract] Proceedings of the XIII Biannual Meeting of ISGED and the X International Symposium on Retinoblastoma, May 4, 2001, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. USA .
  67. Chan HS, Gallie BL, Munier FL, et al.: Chemotherapy for retinoblastoma. Ophthalmol Clin North Am 18 (1): 55-63, viii, 2005.
  68. Rodriguez-Galindo C, Chantada GL, Haik BG, et al.: Treatment of retinoblastoma: current status and future perspectives. Curr Treat Options Neurol 9 (4): 294-307, 2007.
  69. Shields CL, Mashayekhi A, Cater J, et al.: Macular retinoblastoma managed with chemoreduction: analysis of tumor control with or without adjuvant thermotherapy in 68 tumors. Arch Ophthalmol 123 (6): 765-73, 2005.
  70. Qaddoumi I, Billups CA, Tagen M, et al.: Topotecan and vincristine combination is effective against advanced bilateral intraocular retinoblastoma and has manageable toxicity. Cancer 118 (22): 5663-70, 2012.
  71. Shields CL, Honavar SG, Shields JA, et al.: Factors predictive of recurrence of retinal tumors, vitreous seeds, and subretinal seeds following chemoreduction for retinoblastoma. Arch Ophthalmol 120 (4): 460-4, 2002.
  72. Lumbroso-Le Rouic L, Aerts I, Lévy-Gabriel C, et al.: Conservative treatments of intraocular retinoblastoma. Ophthalmology 115 (8): 1405-10, 1410.e1-2, 2008.
  73. Cohen VM, Kingston J, Hungerford JL: The success of primary chemotherapy for group D heritable retinoblastoma. Br J Ophthalmol 93 (7): 887-90, 2009.
  74. Shields CL, Mashayekhi A, Au AK, et al.: The International Classification of Retinoblastoma predicts chemoreduction success. Ophthalmology 113 (12): 2276-80, 2006.
  75. Chantada GL, Fandino AC, Carcaboso AM, et al.: A phase I study of periocular topotecan in children with intraocular retinoblastoma. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 50 (4): 1492-6, 2009.
  76. Gombos DS, Hungerford J, Abramson DH, et al.: Secondary acute myelogenous leukemia in patients with retinoblastoma: is chemotherapy a factor? Ophthalmology 114 (7): 1378-83, 2007.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: September 04, 2014
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