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

around the world, are very effective and safe.

The excellent outcomes observed in this study confirm it is safe for patients with low-risk disease to go without adjuvant therapy and suggest that it may be safe to reduce the intensity of or even eliminate adjuvant chemotherapy in some patients with intermediate-risk disease, specifically those with a risk feature known as isolated choroidal invasionspreading of tumor cells to the layer of blood vessels and connective tissue at the back of the eye. However, more research is needed to establish clinical criteria for identifying such patients. As all patients were alive at the end of the follow up period, it is not clear whether adjuvant treatment played a vital role, or if surgery would have been sufficient.

Aerts and her research team have recently launched a new study to confirm these results and also determine if treatment could be reduced in some patients in the intermediate-risk category. In this ongoing study, patients with intermediate-risk disease and isolated choroidal invasion are being treated with only two cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy.

ASCO Perspective

ZoAnn Eckert Dreyer, MD, ASCO Cancer Communications Committee member and pediatric cancers expert

"While this study does not include a novel therapy, it demonstrates that with improved, refined risk stratification, it may be possible to reduce chemotherapy in some patient groups particularly those with intermediate-risk disease. Physicians and parents can be reassured that many children can go without aggressive chemotherapy and be spared from its long- and short-term effects. This will potentially result in a change in the standard of care for these patients."


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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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