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New Localized Cancer Treatment for Advanced Retinoblastoma Saves Children From Having Eyes Removed, Restores Vision in Some Cases
Date:3/17/2008

ving procedure. However, some retinoblastoma involve both eyes. Retinoblastoma is often discovered before three years of age at an advanced stage because young children do not complain about loss of vision in only one eye. By the time white discoloration of the pupil is noticeable, the tumor is already large.

Using moving X-rays, an interventional radiologist threads a catheter up the femoral artery, guides it to the ophthalmic artery (feeding the eye and the tumor) and then injects the drug. The tumor visibly shrinks within three weeks.

Intravenous chemotherapy is not very effective because perhaps less than 1 percent actually reaches the eye. By delivering the drug directly to the eye, a curative drug concentration can be achieved, while sparing the healthy tissue in the body.

In some cases of retinal detachment, the interventional treatment also allowed recovery of some vision. The interventional treatment is especially important in bilateral (both eyes) retinoblastoma, where vision could be lost entirely.

"We are hopeful that this interventional treatment may avoid removal of the eye in advanced tumors and even replace conventional (whole body) chemotherapy and radiation therapy in less advanced forms of retinoblastoma. Our work comes from the collaboration between an interventional radiologist, an ophthalmologist specialist in cancer and a pediatric oncologist. Modern medicine is so complex that new treatments are often discovered by physicians working in a team," explained Gobin.

This experimental treatment, which has minimal side effects, is being performed only at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer.

Interventional radiology is a subspecialty of medicine that specializes in minimally invasive treatments that often replace open surgery and works with other specialists across every specialty area of medicine.

Abstract 60, "A Phase I/II Stu
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SOURCE Society of Interventional Radiology
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