Vitreous relapse common in eyes with retinoblastoma

August 11, 2006

Vitreous relapse common in eyes with retinoblastoma

One in seven eyes with retinoblastoma treated with primary chemotherapy are likely to develop vitreous relapse, according to the results of a study published in May 2006 issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Paul Cauchi from St Bartholomew's Hospital, UK and fellow researchers from Queen Mary, University of London and Bart's and The London NHS Trust, UK carried out a retrospective review of patients treated with primary chemotherapy at a large oncology centre. All eyes that developed vitreous relapse were coded using the Reese-Ellworth Group for laterality, time to relapse, type of relapse, treatment modalities and ocular preservation. Any tumour foci that had been treated with laser hyperthermia were also coded for laser parameters such as power settings, number of treatments and concomitant administration of systemic chemotherapy.

Over a six-year period, 15 of 106 eyes developed vitreous relapse; mean time to relapse after chemotherapy was 7.2 months. In 11 cases, ocular salvage was attempted, one patient was lost to follow-up and of the remaining ten, six eyes were salvaged. Of those treated with chemotherapy and laser hyperthermia, 21% developed vitreous relapse as opposed to just 10% of those only treated with chemotherapy.

The researchers results suggest that nearly one in seven eyes with retinoblastoma treated with primary chemotherapy will develop vitreous relapse. This risk is increased with the use of laser hyperthermia.