Use of intra-arterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma: results of a survey

Int J Ophthalmol. 2014 Aug 18;7(4):726-30. doi: 10.3980/j.issn.2222-3959.2014.04.26. eCollection 2014.


Aim: To obtain baseline knowledge about the current use of intra-arterial chemotherapy (SSOAIC) in centers worldwide.

Methods: A survey including questions about the use of SSOAIC was emailed to retinoblastoma experts.

Results: Seventy-nine (response rate 69.9%) doctors from 63 centers in 35 countries responded. Thirty-one centers from 19 countries use SSOAIC. Twelve performed more than 50 procedures. Melphalan is the most commonly used drug but 15 centers use more than one drug. First line therapy for advanced unilateral disease is the most common use of SSOAIC (74.2%). Centers with larger experience (>50 applications) were less likely using melphalan alone (P=0.06) and significantly more likely using SSOAIC in more situations such as second line in preference to radiotherapy P=0.05. Nineteen (61.2%) stated that SSOAIC improved their results and 21 (77.8%) reported less toxicity compared to other treatments. Three centers reported that SSOAIC did not improve their results. There were regional variations in the use of SSOAIC which is used more frequently as secondary treatment in Europe compared to the USA and Japan. Ten centers identified cost is the major limiting factor for SSOAIC.

Conclusion: SSOAIC is used in an increasing number of centers worldwide with regional variations. Centers with more experience in SSOAIC use it in more situations including other drugs than melphalan. The majority of the centers using this technique reported improved results and few complications.

Keywords: intra-arterial chemotherapy; retinoblastoma; survey.