Successful treatment of metastatic retinoblastoma

Ira J. Dunkel, Alexander Aledo, Nancy A. Kernan, Brian Kushner, Lisa Bayer, Smitha V. Gollamudi, Jonathan L. Finlay, David H. Abramson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. In the past, patients with metastatic retinoblastoma have had a poor prognosis when treated with conventional modalities. In the current study, the authors evaluated the use of combined intensive conventional chemotherapy, high dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue (ASCR), and radiation therapy. METHODS. Four patients with metastatic retinoblastoma were treated. All had orbital and bone marrow metastases. In addition, three patients had bone metastases and two patients had liver metastases. None had central nervous system disease. Patients received intensive conventional chemotherapy that included vincristine, cyclophosphamide, etoposide, and either cisplatin or carboplatin. Stem cells were harvested after bone marrow disease was no longer detectable. High dose chemotherapy with carboplatin (500 mg/m2/day x 3 days or area under the curve = 7 via the Calvert formula) and thiotepa (300 mg/m2/day x 3 days) with (n = 3 patients) or without (n = 1 patient) etoposide (250 mg/m2/day x 3 days) was administered with ASCR. Sites that originally harbored bulky disease were irradiated after recovery from the high dose chemotherapy. RESULTS. The therapy was associated with substantial acute hematopoietic and mucosal toxicities. At last follow-up, all four patients had survived event free from 46-80 months after the diagnosis of metastatic disease. CONCLUSlONS. The treatment strategy described in the current study is effective for patients with metastatic retinoblastoma that does not involve the central nervous system. However, a multicenter trial should be considered to evaluate it in a larger group of patients. (C) 2000 American Cancer Society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2117-2121
Number of pages5
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Adjuvant hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Retinoblastoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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