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New procedure aims to save vision of children with eye cancer
Date:4/14/2010

An ophthalmologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is implanting radioactive discs in the eyes of children with a rare cancer in an attempt to save their vision and their eyes.

J. William Harbour, MD, is one of only a few doctors nationwide to use the approach for treating a rare, childhood eye cancer, called retinoblastoma. Harbour, the Paul A. Cibis Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, performs the surgery at St. Louis Children's Hospital. He implants a small disc, or plaque, which stays in the eye for three days before a second surgery to remove it.

"The standard of care for retinoblastoma is chemotherapy, followed by laser and freezing treatments to eliminate the last remnants of tumors," Harbour says. "But occasionally there will be a tumor that doesn't respond to chemotherapy or is too large to treat with a laser or freezing treatment. That's where this plaque treatment comes in. It gives us an option that may allow us to save the eyes of a young child."


Contact: Jim Dryden
jdryden@wustl.edu
314-286-0110
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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