Systemic for Retinoblastoma
- Tumors too large for laser therapy or cryotherapy.
- Good chance of saving eye and vision.
- Prevention of tumors in other parts of the body (i.e., metastasis) if risk is high, because the tumor in the eye has spread to optic nerve, uvea or orbit.
- Treatment of metastatic disease.
- Small tumors treatable with laser therapy or cryotherapy.
- Very advanced tumor with only a small chance of saving the eye and vision.
- Advanced tumor if risk of retinoblastoma in other eye is very small.
- The chemotherapy is administered through a Port-a-Cath implanted under the skin on the chest.
- Three drugs are usually given - carboplatin, etoposide and vincristine.
- The treatment is repeated every 3-4 weeks, giving 3 to 6 doses.
Complications of Chemotherapy
- Any chemotherapy can cause anemia (thinning of the blood) and immunosuppression, so that the patient is predisposed to infections as well as hair loss, diarrhea and other side-effects.
- The port-a-cath can become infected.
- Carboplatin can rarely cause hearing impairment.
- Etoposide can cause allergic reaction and, very rarely, leukemia.
- Vincristine can cause constipation.