Current Indications of Secondary Enucleation in Retinoblastoma Management: A Position Paper on Behalf of the European Retinoblastoma Group (EURbG)

Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jul 6;13(14):3392. doi: 10.3390/cancers13143392.


Secondary enucleation (SE) puts an irreversible end to eye-preserving therapies, whenever their prolongation is expected to violate the presumed state of metastatic grace. At present, it must be acknowledged that clear criteria for SE are missing, leading to empiric and subjective indications commonly related to disease progression or relapse, disease persistence masking the optic nerve head or treatment-related complications obscuring the fundus view. This absence of evidence-based consensus regarding SE is explained by the continuously moving frontiers of the conservative management as a result of diagnostic and therapeutic advances, as well as by the lack of studies sufficiently powered to accurately stratify the risk of metastasis in conservatively treated patients. In this position paper of the European Retinoblastoma Group (EURbG), we give an overview of the progressive shift in the indications for SE over the past decades and propose guidelines to assist decision-making with respect to when SE becomes imperative or recommended, with corresponding absolute and relative SE indications. Further studies and validation of biologic markers correlated with the risk of metastasis are expected to set more precisely the frontiers of conservative management and thus consensual criteria for SE in the future.

Keywords: external beam irradiation; intra-arterial chemotherapy; intravenous chemotherapy; metastasis; retinoblastoma; secondary enucleation; survival.

Publication types

  • Guideline