Conservative treatments of intraocular retinoblastoma often consist of chemotherapy and focal treatments. The protocols vary and currently may combine two or three drugs, with different number of cycles, associated to the ocular treatments. In case of macular/paramacular involvement, tumor location and retinal scars induced by focal treatments often have a major negative impact on final visual outcome.
This study aimed to include children affected by bilateral intraocular macular/paramacular retinoblastoma in a prospective phase II study. The protocol consisted of six cycles of a three-drug combination (vincristine, etoposide, carboplatin), and the addition of macula-sparing transpupillary thermotherapy (TTT) to the third cycle. The primary endpoint was the local control rate without external beam radiotherapy (EBR) and/or enucleation.
Nineteen patients (26 eyes) were included from July 2004 to November 2009. Thirteen eyes belonged to group V of the Reese-Ellsworth classification and 10 to group D of the International Intraocular Retinoblastoma Classification. Macular/paramacular tumors were treated with chemotherapy alone in nine eyes, and with chemotherapy associated with macula-sparing TTT in 17 eyes. Four eyes experienced macular relapse. At a median follow up of 77 months, 23 eyes (88.5%) were saved without EBR, two were enucleated and one received EBR. The median visual acuity of the 24 saved eyes was 20/50. No severe adverse effect was observed.
Six cycles of a three-drug combination associated with macula-sparing TTT achieved good tumor control, improved eye preservation rates without EBR, and decreased macular damage, often providing satisfactory visual results with long-term follow up.
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