Navigation Links
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."

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

Click here for more information.

Retinoblastoma, as the name suggests, is characterized by tumors in the eye's retina. It is extremely rare, affecting about one child in 20,000. In the United States, about 200 children each year are diagnosed with retinoblastoma. Approximately 40 percent of them develop tumors in both eyes, so in cases where the tumors prove resistant to chemotherapy, very young children and their parents are faced with a choice between a life without eyes and a high risk of death.

That's why Harbour, also a professor of cell biology and of molecular oncology and director of ocular oncology at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, and a handful of other eye cancer specialists have recently started using the plaque method to treat the cancer and possibly save the eyes.

"The treatment plaque looks like a bottle cap made of gold," Harbour says. "Radiation seeds are placed on one side of the plaque, shining the radiation in one direction like a flashlight focused on the tumor. That prevents the radiation from affecting other parts of the body."

The plaques contain seeds that deliver radiation directly to the tumor cells. Harbour says because the radiation gets to the tumor in a much more focused way than was possible in the past, it is not likely that these plaques will contribute to future problems in or around the eye.

Implantation of radioactive plaques has been relatively common in adult patients with a different eye cancer called ocular melanoma. The gold discs have been the standard of care for those patients for decades, and results to date in an ongoing National Institutes of Health (NIH) study have demonstrated that the plaques are an effective treatment in adults with ocular melanoma.

Although the NIH study showed that plaque therapy is as effective as eye removal in preventing the spread of ocular melanoma, the small number of children who have retinoblastoma make it unlikely a similar study could be conducted for that form of eye cancer. He estimates only about 10 to 20 children per year will require the plaque therapy in the United States.

Harbour says it takes several weeks to months to see the tumor start to melt away, but in both ocular melanoma and retinoblastoma, the plaques usually deal the cancer a fatal blow.

"The radiation causes damage within the cancer cells that prevents them from proliferating and spreading," he says. "By the time we take off the plaque, the cancer cells are either dead or mortally wounded, even though we do not immediately see a difference in the appearance of the tumor. After the plaque therapy, as the cancer cells try to proliferate and divide, those cells die, which we then notice in follow-up exams as the tumor shrinks over time."

Harbour still begins retinoblastoma treatment with chemotherapy, but when tumors are too big or unresponsive, the plaques provide a new option that has delivered positive results. Some children even can return to 20/20 vision depending on the size and location of the tumor, he says.


'/>"/>

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

Related medicine news :

1. New Study Demonstrates Novel Use of Metabolic Imaging to Locate Sperm in Infertile Men -- Non-Invasive Imaging Procedure May Replace Invasive Techniques such as Testicula
2. A Study by Celibre Medical Corporation Shows Botox Injections to be the Most Desirable Cosmetic Procedure in Southern California
3. Surgical quality program is a strong tool for assessing outcomes for high-risk procedures
4. Bypass procedure used during infant heart surgery does not impair later neurological outcomes
5. Special Bypass Procedure Used During Infant Heart Surgery Does Not Impair Later Neurological Outcomes in Children
6. Orsi Awarded First Place for Procedure with Embozene(TM) Microspheres
7. Body-Jet Water-Assisted Liposuction Launched by Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Robert Langdon: New Cosmetic Procedure to be Introduced at Free Educational Seminar
8. Harmful Procedures on Young Women Caused by Outdated HPV test, not by Pap Test
9. Variable Doses of Radiation Raise Safety Concerns for CT Procedures
10. Online Compression Garments Retailer Introduces 3D Animation of Surgical Procedures
11. Simbionix First Procedure Rehearsal Studio(TM) Training Workshop
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New procedure aims to save vision of children with eye cancer
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... STATEN ISLAND, N.Y., Nov. ... adherence to the highest standards of trauma, maternity, cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary ... and CEO, Dr. Daniel Messina. , Among the recognitions, the American College of ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... Care Act. Dr. Botelho advocates for the mass media launching of story movements ... ongoing opportunities to share their unfortunate experiences; such a movement can generate the ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... The Dan ... headquartered in Jefferson County, is announcing the launch of a charity drive to ... number of homeless women and children in Birmingham has grown steadily since the ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... and financial consulting services to residential and commercial clients in the northern Alabama ... support for Nobis Works. , Since 1977, Nobis Works has built a network ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... VA (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... are celebrating the passage of the most comprehensive mental health systems reform legislation ... the support of the President, and the commitment of our elected officials to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016 True Health Diagnostics today announced ... services and management expertise to hospital systems throughout ... more doctors and patients to benefit from state-of-the-art ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161208/447162LOGO ... pressure to contain costs, have struggled to keep ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016 Information products and services provider ... Scopus , the world,s largest abstract and citation database of ... for journals from over 5,000 publishers. The new set of metrics ... to and when to adjust a journal,s editorial strategy. ... , , ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 A Small Business Innovative Research ... of Health (NIH) to Phoenix -based ... The grant will seek to determine an optimal ... utilizes electromagnetic waves to treat Alzheimer,s Disease. The grant ... to possibly treat other neurologic disorders such as Parkinson,s ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: