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Prospective study finds many children with retinoblastoma can safely forego adjuvant chemotherapy
Date:3/4/2013

In this News Digest:

  • Summary of a study being published online March 4, 2013 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, reporting that in certain children with retinoblastoma, adjuvant chemotherapy can be avoided, without risking disease worsening or relapse.
  • The findings will help decision-making about adjuvant treatment and therapy selection for patients with low- , intermediate-, and high-risk retinoblastoma affecting only one eye
  • Quote for attribution to ZoAnn Eckert Dreyer, MD, American Society of Clinical Oncology Cancer Communications Committee member and pediatric cancers expert
  • Links to additional resources on Cancer.Net, ASCO's cancer information Website

New results from a prospective clinical trial conducted in France show that children with low-risk retinoblastoma do not need postoperative (adjuvant) chemotherapy to prevent disease recurrence or metastasis; the results also suggest that certain patients with intermediate-risk disease can receive less aggressive adjuvant treatment, or perhaps forego it altogether. Avoiding chemotherapy spares patients from treatment side effects and long-term health risks, such as cardiovascular disease and development of a second cancer.

Retinoblastoma is a rare form of cancer, accounting for three percent of all cancers diagnosed in children under the age of 15. An estimated 300 cases of retinoblastoma will be diagnosed in the United States this year, most before the age of five years. The tumor begins in the retina, a thin layer of nerve tissue that coats the back of the eye.

About two thirds of children with retinoblastoma have unilateral disease, meaning that only one eye is affected by the tumor. In developed countries, this type of disease is typically detected around two years of age. More than 95 percent of such patients are cured by surgical removal or the affected eyeball, with eyesight p
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Contact: Nicole Racadag
nicole.racadag@asco.org
571-483-1354
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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