Doctors and scientists conducting research on retinoblastoma are studying new types of treatment methods, including subtenon chemotherapy and high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplants. For scientists to continue their efforts to better understand retinoblastoma, volunteers are needed. These participants may be among the first to have the opportunity to benefit from treatments that have shown promise in earlier research.
Doctors and scientists are hard at work conducting retinoblastoma research. These studies are designed to answer important questions about this disease and to find out whether new approaches are safe and effective. This already has led to many advances, and researchers continue to search for more effective methods for dealing with retinoblastoma.
New types of retinoblastoma treatments are being tested in clinical trials. They include:
- Subtenon chemotherapy
- High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplants.
Subtenon chemotherapy refers to the use of drugs injected through the membrane covering the muscles and nerves at the back of the eyeball. This is a type of regional chemotherapy. It is usually combined with systemic chemotherapy and local treatment (such as radiation therapy, cryotherapy, photocoagulation, or thermotherapy).
High-Dose Chemotherapy With Stem Cell Transplants
This form of treatment now under study involves the administration of high doses of chemotherapy and then replacing blood-forming cells destroyed by the cancer treatment. Stem cells (immature blood cells) are removed from the blood or bone marrow of the affected person (or from a donor) and are frozen and stored. After the chemotherapy is completed, the stored stem cells are thawed and given to the person through an infusion. These reinfused stem cells grow into the body's blood cells, restoring them.