Treatment for retinoblastoma
Specific treatment for retinoblastoma will be determined by your child's doctor based on:
Your child's age, health, and medical history
Extent of the disease
Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of the disease
Your opinion or preference
The primary goal of treatment is to remove the tumor and prevent metastasis (spreading) of the cancer to other parts of the body.
Treatment may include one or more of the following:
Enucleation (surgical removal of the eye or eyes involved with the tumor)
Laser therapy or photocoagulation
Cryotherapy (uses a freezing process to destroy the tumor)
Long-term outlook for a child with retinoblastoma
Prognosis greatly depends on the following:
The extent of the disease
The size and location of the tumor
Presence or absence of metastasis
The tumor's response to therapy
The age and overall health of your child
Your child's tolerance of specific medications, procedures, or therapies
New developments in treatment
As with any cancer, prognosis and long-term survival can vary greatly from child to child. Every child is unique and treatment and prognosis is structured around the child's needs. Prompt medical attention and aggressive therapy are important for the best prognosis.
Continuous follow-up care is essential for a child diagnosed with retinoblastoma. In hereditary retinoblastoma, new tumors may form in either eye until the child is 3 to 4 years old. Children will need very close follow-up by an ophthalmologist. Children with hereditary retinoblastoma and those treated with some chemotherapies, radiation therapies, and some other therapies, are at higher risk for new cancers later in life and should have regular medical and eye exams.
Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to treat cancer cells. Learn more about this treatment.
Radiation therapy (also called radiation oncology) uses special kinds of energy waves or particles to fight cancer. Learn more about this treatment.
Our Solid Tumor Program has a dedicated team of sarcoma experts who specialize in the newest treatments and clinical trials.
Our oncology (cancer) team provides personalized treatment plans for children with cancer, including access to clinical trials.