Chemoreduction for retinoblastoma. Analysis of tumor control and risks for recurrence in 457 tumors

Am J Ophthalmol. 2004 Sep;138(3):329-37. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2004.04.032.


Purpose: To evaluate retinoblastoma control following chemoreduction.

Design: Interventional case series.

Methods: Prospective.

Setting: Single center trial.

Patient population: 457 retinoblastomas in 193 eyes of 125 patients. Nonrandomized, noncomparative study.

Intervention: All patients received intravenous vincristine, etoposide, and carboplatin,. The tumors were managed with chemoreduction alone (group W) or chemoreduction combined with thermotherapy (group X), cryotherapy (group Y), or both thermotherapy and cryotherapy (group Z).

Main outcome measure: Tumor recurrence in each treatment group.

Results: Of 457 retinoblastomas, 63 (14%) were in group W, 256 (56%) in group X, 127 (28%) in group Y, and 11 (2%) in group Z. The tumor was located in the macula in 33 (52%) of group W, 109 (43%) of group X, 3 (2%) of group Y, and 9 (1%) of group Z. The mean tumor thickness at initial examination was 7 mm for group W, 4 mm for group X, 2 mm for group Y, and 3 mm for group Z. Using Kaplan-Meier estimates, recurrence of the individual retinoblastoma at 7 years was found in 45% of group W and 18% for combined groups X, Y, and Z. Risk factors predictive of tumor recurrence by multivariate analysis included macular tumor location for all groups and additionally female gender for group W and increasing tumor thickness for groups X, Y, and Z.

Conclusions: Chemoreduction alone or combined with cryotherapy or thermotherapy is effective for treatment of retinoblastoma, but tumor recurrence rate is highest for those located in the macula and those with greater thickness.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carboplatin / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cryotherapy
  • Etoposide / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retinal Neoplasms / classification
  • Retinal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Retinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Retinoblastoma / classification
  • Retinoblastoma / drug therapy*
  • Retinoblastoma / pathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Vincristine / therapeutic use*


  • Vincristine
  • Etoposide
  • Carboplatin

Supplementary concepts

  • CEV regimen