Retinoblastoma frontiers with intravenous, intra-arterial, periocular, and intravitreal chemotherapy

Eye (Lond). 2013 Feb;27(2):253-64. doi: 10.1038/eye.2012.175. Epub 2012 Sep 21.


In this report, we explore retinoblastoma diagnostic accuracy and review chemotherapy alternatives for retinoblastoma using intravenous, intra-arterial, periocular, and intravitreal routes. A review of 2775 patients referred for management of retinoblastoma, disclosed 78% with confirmed retinoblastoma and 22% with simulating lesions, termed pseudoretinoblastomas. Children ≤2 years old showed leading pseudoretinoblastomas of persistent fetal vasculature, Coats disease, and vitreous haemorrhage, whereas those >5 years showed simulators of Coats, toxocariasis, and familial exudative vitreoretinopathy. The diagnosis of retinoblastoma should be established before planning therapeutic strategy. Chemotherapy strategy depends on tumour laterality and stage of disease. If bilateral retinoblastoma, intravenous chemotherapy (IVC) is important as first-line therapy for control of intraocular disease, prevention of metastasis, and reduction in prevalence of pinealoblastoma and long-term second malignant neoplasms. Bilateral groups D and E retinoblastoma receive additional subtenon's carboplatin boost for improved local control. If unilateral disease is present, then intra-arterial chemotherapy (IAC) is often considered. IAC can be salvage therapy following chemoreduction failure. Unilateral retinoblastoma of groups D and E are managed with enucleation or globe-conserving IVC and/or IAC. Intravitreal chemotherapy is cautiously reserved for recurrent vitreous seeds following other therapies. In conclusion, the strategy for retinoblastoma management with chemotherapy depends on tumour laterality and stage of disease. Bilateral retinoblastoma is most often managed with IVC and unilateral retinoblastoma with IAC, but if advanced stage, combination IVC plus IAC or enucleation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Arterial
  • Injections, Intraocular
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Intravitreal Injections
  • Retinal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Retinal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Retinoblastoma / diagnosis
  • Retinoblastoma / drug therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents