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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

dy of Intra-arterial (Ophthalmic Artery) Chemotherapy for Intraocular Retinoblastoma," can be found at http://www.SIRmeeting.org.

About Retinoblastoma

In the United States, about 300 children and adolescents are diagnosed with retinoblastoma each year, with almost two-thirds (63 percent) of all cases occurring before the age of two years, according to National Cancer Institute statistics. Retinoblastoma tumors start in the retina, the very back portion of the eye; they are caused by a gene mutation and occur once in every 15,000 to 16,000 births. In most cases, the mutation occurs in a single cell in the eye, so only that eye develops a tumor. Scientists do not yet know why these sporadic mutations occur. If left untreated, the tumors can spread to the brain via the optic nerve. One-half of the children in the world who develop this cancer will die.

About Intra-arterial Chemotherapy

Each interventional chemotherapy treatment is performed with the child asleep (under general anesthesia). An artery is punctured at the groin and a microcatheter (a tiny plastic tube) is threaded up into the artery of the affected eye. The chemotherapy drug, Melphalan, is injected, so the eye receives a large dose of the drug while the rest of the body receives a small dose. The retinoblastoma is very sensitive to Melphalan, and the eye tolerates the drug well while the rest of the body receives a non-toxic dose. Three intra-arterial chemotherapy treatments are usually sufficient; however, physicians have given up to six treatments.

About the Society of Interventional Radiology

Interventional radiologists are physicians who specialize in minimally invasive, targeted treatments. They offer the most in-depth knowledge of the least invasive treatments available coupled with diagnostic and clinical experience across all specialties. They use X-ray, MRI and other imaging to advance a catheter
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SOURCE Society of Interventional Radiology
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