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Ongoing Study Shows That Endovascular Therapy is Associated With High Cure Rate for Childhood Eye Cancer
Date:7/28/2009

, however, a late diagnosis often requires the removal of the eye.

According to Gobin, the study was initiated in 2006 to determine if chemotherapy delivered through endovascular methods (through a catheter inserted in the groin and threaded up through the vessels to the site of the tumor), otherwise known as chemosurgery, would produce better outcomes for retinoblastoma patients, including preserving the eye and vision as well as avoiding intravenous chemotherapy, which is administered over the course of six months to a year and can be frequently associated with port infections and sickness for the duration of that time. Since the study was initiated, 49 children, ranging in age from 1 month to 10 years, have been treated with this technique. Of this number, all suffered from advanced retinoblastoma and were candidates for removal of the eye. Additionally, half of the patients had already failed prior conventional treatments, including intravenous chemotherapy or radiation therapy; nine patients had already had an eye removed.

Study participants were chosen following an eye examination under anesthesia, allowing physicians to confirm the diagnosis and determine the extent of the disease. For those who qualified, chemosurgery was performed soon thereafter, and was repeated every three to four weeks, up to six times.

To date, 144 chemosurgeries have been performed, which equates to a mean of three per patient. Results indicate that physicians were able to technically perform the procedure successfully in almost every case. Short-term follow-up, occurring after six or more months of stability after the last treatment, showed that of 27 eyes, 21 are cured (77 percent) and 13 are cured with preserved vision (48 percent). Six eyes could not be saved. Overall, of the population of eyes that were treated, 50 percent of patients would have lost an eye on conventional treatment; of those who kept a
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SOURCE Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery
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