Current Treatment of Bilateral Retinoblastoma: The Impact of Intraarterial and Intravitreous Chemotherapy

Jasmine H. Francis, Nelli Roosipu, Ariana M. Levin, Scott E. Brodie, Ira J. Dunkel, Y. Pierre Gobin, David H. Abramson

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43 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate the management and outcomes of naïve bilateral retinoblastoma treated at a single-center over a 5-year period during the era of ophthalmic artery chemosurgery (OAC) and intravitreous chemotherapy. METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of 46 patients (92 eyes) with naïve bilateral retinoblastoma treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center between January 2012 and February 2017. Indirect ophthalmoscopy, fundus photography, ultrasonography, and ultrasonic biomicroscopy were used to evaluate clinical response. Patient, ocular, ocular progression-free, ocular recurrent event–free, and second ocular survivals were assessed by Kaplan-Meier estimates. Retinal toxicity was evaluated by electroretinography. Snellen visual acuity and complete blood count metrics were recorded. RESULTS: Sixty-four eyes (70%) in 41 patients (89%) received ophthalmic artery chemosurgery as part of their treatment. Twenty-six patients (56%) received tandem OAC (bilateral simultaneous infusions). Seven eyes were primarily enucleated. No eye receiving initial OAC was enucleated. There was a single secondary enucleation in an eye initially treated with focal therapy with anterior chamber recurrence. The 3-year Kaplan-Meier estimates for overall ocular, secondary ocular (survival after treatment for recurrence), progression-free, and recurrent event–free survival were 91.3% [95% confidence interval (CI) 83.4-95.5], 98.7% (95% CI 91.3-99.8), 91.5% (95% CI 83.0-95.8), and 78.9% (95% CI 68.2-86.3), respectively. Overall and secondary ocular survivals were 100% for International Classification of Retinoblastoma (ICRB) groups A-C. Overall ocular survival was 91.5% (95% CI 70-97.8) for ICRB group D and 71.4% (95% CI 47.1-79.4) for group E. Secondary ocular survival was 95.4% (95% CI 71.8-99.3) for ICRB group D and 100% for group E. There were no treatment-related deaths, three patients developed trilateral retinoblastoma (one died), and one patient (who did not receive OAC) developed metastatic disease and is in remission at 32-month follow-up. CONCLUSION: The majority (89%) of bilateral retinoblastoma patients in the current era and at this center were treated with OAC. This has resulted in saving a historic number of eyes. A quarter of eyes developed recurrent disease (defined as recurrent disease requiring any treatment including focal), the majority of which occurred in the first year after treatment, and all but one was saved. There has been no compromise in patient survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-763
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


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