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Retinoblastoma Treatment by Stage

Intraocular Retinoblastoma

If the cancer is in one eye and the tumor is large, then enucleation is usually the treatment method of choice.
If the cancer is in one eye and it is expected that vision can be saved, retinoblastoma treatment options may include the following:
  • Radiation therapy
  • Photocoagulation
  • Cryotherapy
  • Thermotherapy
  • Chemotherapy (chemoreduction).
If the cancer is in both eyes, treatment may include the following:
  • Enucleation of the eye with the most cancer and radiation therapy to the other eye.
  • Radiation therapy to both eyes, or chemotherapy (chemoreduction) followed by local treatment. This may be done if there is a chance to save the vision in both eyes.
  • Surgery is an option only when vision cannot be saved.

Extraocular Retinoblastoma

There is no standard treatment for extraocular retinoblastoma. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy have been used. Clinical retinoblastoma research trials on high-dose chemotherapy using stem cell transplants are currently underway as a possible retinoblastoma treatment.

Recurrent Retinoblastoma

If the cancer is small and in the eye only, treatment usually consists of local therapy (enucleation, radiation therapy, cryotherapy, photocoagulation, or thermotherapy).
If the cancer comes back outside of the eye, treatment will depend on several different factors. Your healthcare provider may also recommend a clinical trial for your particular situation.
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