Results of a prospective study for the treatment of retinoblastoma




The objectives of this prospective study were to avoid adjuvant treatment for patients with intraocular disease and patients with postlaminar optic nerve invasion (PL-ONI) without full choroidal or scleral invasion. Adjuvant chemotherapy (Regimen 1) was given to patients with scleral invasion, PL-ONI without cut section, and full choroidal and/or scleral invasion. A more intensive regimen of higher dose intravenous chemotherapy (Regimen 2) and local radiotherapy was given to patients with PL-ONI and compromise at the cut end and to patients with overt extraocular disease.


Six-month intravenous chemotherapy included carboplatin plus etoposide alternating with cyclophosphamide plus vincristine (Regimen 1) and the same drugs at higher dosage plus idarubicin (Regimen 2). Chemoreduction with carboplatin and vincristine with or without etoposide was given to selected patients (n = 39 patients).


From 1994 to 2001, 169 patients were evaluable at the Hospital Garrahan (Buenos Aires, Argentina). One hundred eighteen patients with intraocular disease had a 5-year disease free survival (DFS) rate of 0.98, including 54 patients with choroidal invasion. None of 22 patients with isolated PL-ONI developed recurrent disease, whereas 2 of 8 patients with concomitant risk factors had tumor recurrences and died. Three of 5 patients with scleral invasion survived, and 7 of 10 patients with cut-end ONI survived. The only patient with metastatic disease that survived (n = 6) had only lymph node invasion.


Adjuvant therapy can be avoided in patients with intraocular and isolated PL-ONI. Patients with PL-ONI who also had other risk factors required intensive adjuvant therapy, such as patients with cut-end and overt extraocular disease. Metastatic disease was not found to be curable with this approach. Cancer 2004;100:834–42. © 2003 American Cancer Society.