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Cancer. 2003 Sep 15;98(6):1292-8.

Extraocular retinoblastoma: a 13-year experience.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Oncology, Hospital do Câncer, A. C. Camargo, Centro de Tratamento e Pesquisa, São Paulo, Brazil. cantonelli@terra.com.br



The current study was performed to evaluate two regimens of treatment and to describe clinical and epidemiologic characteristics in patients with extraocular retinoblastoma.


Eighty-three patients with extraocular retinoblastoma according to Childrens Cancer Group (CCG) classification were admitted to the Pediatric Department of the A. C. Camargo between 1987-2000. The age, gender, race, lag time, first clinical presentation, staging, laterality, and treatment regimen were analyzed. Treatment was comprised of cisplatin, teniposide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide during the first treatment period (1987-1991) or cisplatin and teniposide with alternating courses of ifosfamide and etoposide during the second treatment period (1992-2000).


The mean age of the patients was 32.9 months (range, 2-145 months). The mean lag time was 10.5 months. Forty-three patients were treated in the first period and 40 patients were treated in the second period. Locally advanced tumors (Class I-III) were present in 83.1% of the patients. There was a positive correlation between lag time and age for unilateral tumors (correlation coefficient [r] = 0.35; P = 0.006), whereas the correlation was negative for bilateral tumors (r = -0.12; P = 0.63). The 5-year overall survival was 55.1% in the first treatment period and 59.4% in the second treatment period (P = 0.69). No significant differences with regard to survival rates were noted for unilateral tumors between the two treatment periods (44.6 noted for unilateral tumors vs. 59.1 noted for unilateral tumors).


In the current study, the addition of ifosfamide and etoposide to a treatment regimen comprised of cisplatin, teniposide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide did not appear to improve the survival of patients with extraocular retinoblastoma. Patients with dissemination to the central nervous system or metastatic disease remain incurable and die of progressive disease, despite the aggressive treatment. A multicenter trial should be considered to evaluate the best strategy for these situations.

Copyright 2003 American Cancer Society.DOI 10.1002/cncr.11647

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