Author(s): Chawla B, Jain A, Azad R
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Abstract Retinoblastoma is the most common primary intraocular malignancy of childhood. A potentially curable cancer, its treatment has improved significantly over the last few decades. The purpose of this article is to review the literature on various conservative treatment modalities available for the treatment of retinoblastoma and their effectiveness, when used alone or in combination. Pubmed, Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane library were searched through 2012 for published peer reviewed data on conservative treatment modalities for retinoblastoma. Various studies show that while enucleation remains the standard of care for advanced intraocular tumors, conservative modalities that can result in globe salvage and preservation of useful vision are being increasingly employed. Such modalities include systemic chemotherapy, focal consolidation with transpupillary thermotherapy, laser photocoagulation and cryotherapy, plaque brachytherapy, and delivery of local chemotherapy using subconjunctival, sub-tenon, or intra-arterial routes. When used alone or in combination, these treatment modalities can help in avoidance of external beam radiotherapy or enucleation, thus reducing the potential for long-term side effects, while salvaging useful vision. Radioactive plaque brachytherapy has an established role in selected patients with intraocular retinoblastoma. Local injections of chemotherapeutic agents via the sub-tenon or sub-conjunctival route have been used with varying degrees of success, usually as an adjunct to systemic chemotherapy. Intra-arterial ophthalmic artery delivery of melphalan has shown promising results. It is important to recognize that today, several treatment options are available that can obviate the need for enucleation, and cure the cancer with preservation of functional vision. A thorough knowledge and understanding of these conservative treatment modalities is essential for appropriate management.
This article was published in Indian J Ophthalmol
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation