The survival of 954 cases of retinoblastoma, diagnosed between 1978 and 1989 in 28 populations belonging to 17 European countries and covered by cancer registration, is analysed in this study. Data were collected in the framework of the EUROCARE study following a common protocol and data-check procedures and were analysed centrally by the Kaplan-Meier method and by the Cox regression model. Overall 5-year survival in the European pool was 93% (95% confidence interval (CI): 91--95%), for both sexes. Five-, 10- and 18-year survival for a subset of 235 patients diagnosed in 1978--1981 was 91, 89 and 86%, respectively. Children diagnosed in their first year of age had a slightly higher survival (94%) than those diagnosed subsequently (92%). Survival rates lower than the European average were found in the Eastern European countries, Italy, England and Wales, Scotland, Spain and Denmark. Higher survival was found in the other Nordic countries and in Central European countries. However, none of these differences was statistically significant. There was statistically significant effect related to the period of diagnosis, with a 50% reduction in the relative risk (RR) for children diagnosed in 1986--1989 compared with those diagnosed in 1978-1981.