APAO 2023: Looking at retinoblastoma in 2023

Arun Singh, MD, discusses Retinoblastoma in 2023 and the advancements of tumor chemotherapy from his presentation at the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) 2023 conference.

Arun Singh, MD, discusses Retinoblastoma in 2023 and the advancements of tumor chemotherapy from his presentation at the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) 2023 conference with David Hutton, Managing Editor, Ophthalmology Times®.

Editor's note - This transcript has been edited for clarity:

David Hutton:

Hello, I'm David Hutton of Ophthalmology times. I'm joined today by Dr. Arun Singh. During the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology conference in Malaysia, he participated in a panel discussing retinoblastoma in 2023. Tell us a little bit about the presentation and some of the key takeaways.

Arun Singh, MD:

Well, thanks for having me. This is a regional meeting Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology meeting. And at the symposium, there were speakers from Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia. And of course, Dr. Eagle from United States. I was the chair of the symposium, which covered several aspects of retinoblastoma.

So, just to summarize the key findings, first of all, there's a lot of interest and research in the genetics of retinoblastoma, particularly in the genes that are altered in the tumor that can be accessed through aqueous humor biopsy. So we do not need a tumor sample, we do not need a blood sample, we can actually get the genetics from the cells that are floating or dead in the anterior chamber. And from that, we are able to prognosticate to some extent, what the tumor response will be to chemotherapy. So that's one exciting area.

Second is of course, advancements of tumor chemotherapy delivery to the tumor. And we are familiar with the newer methods that include intra-arterial chemotherapy, which is now being expanded to the developing nations. And we have Dr. Hamzah, talking about this treatment that is being used in Malaysia.

And then the old topics like extraocular extension, how the pathology identifies the prognosis, which patients can benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy. All that is highlighted by the presentation from Dr. Renbing Jia from China. As you might know, China and India are the countries with the largest number of retinoblastoma in the world. And therefore, speakers from these countries have tremendous experience because they see large number of cases.

And in the last one, I would like to point out that in addition to these high tech innovations in drug delivery and genetics, there's also an aspect of access to care. Again, this happens in developing nations, there are several barriers – social, cultural, and financial. And people are coming up with innovative methods of delivering health care, or specifically to this complex treatments that children with retinoblastoma need. And this is how it was highlighted by Dr. Rita Sitorus, from Indonesia.

So overall, it's a new look at old problems. And that keeps us excited, and takes us, gives us incentive to do more work in this field. Thank you.

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