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    Retinoblastoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Treatment Options for Retinoblastoma

    Intraocular Retinoblastoma

    If the tumor is large and it is expected that the eye cannot be saved, treatment may include the following:

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    • Enucleation. After surgery, systemic chemotherapy may be given to lower the risk that the cancer will spread to other parts of the body.

    If it is expected that the eye can be saved, treatment may include the following:

    • Systemic chemotherapy, ophthalmic artery infusion chemotherapy, or subtenon chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, followed by one or more of the following:
      • Cryotherapy.
      • Thermotherapy.
      • Plaque radiotherapy.
    • External-beam radiation therapy.

    When retinoblastoma is in both eyes, the treatment for each eye may be different depending on the size of the tumor and whether it is expected that the eye can be saved.

    Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with intraocular retinoblastoma. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your child's doctor about clinical trials that may be right for your child. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

    Extraocular Retinoblastoma

    Treatment for extraocular retinoblastoma that has spread to the area around the eye may include the following:

    • Systemic chemotherapy and external-beam radiation therapy.
    • Systemic chemotherapy followed by surgery (enucleation). Radiation therapy and more chemotherapy may be given after surgery.

    Treatment for extraocular retinoblastoma that has spread to the brain may include the following:

    • Systemic or intrathecal chemotherapy.
    • Radiation therapy to the brain and spinal cord.
    • Chemotherapy followed by high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue.

    It is not clear whether extraocular retinoblastoma that has spread to the brain responds to chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

    For trilateral retinoblastoma, treatment may include the following:

    • Chemotherapy followed by high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue.

    For retinoblastoma that has spread to other parts of the body, treatment may include the following:

    • Chemotherapy followed by high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue.
    • A clinical trial of chemotherapy followed by high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue and radiation therapy.
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