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Retinoblastoma

Cancer that forms in the tissues of the retina (the light-sensitive layers of nerve tissue at the back of the eye). Retinoblastoma usually occurs in children younger than 5 years.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Retinoblastoma

Retinoblastoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the retina.

The retina is the nerve tissue that lines the inside of the back of the eye. The retina senses light and sends images to the brain by way of the optic nerve.

Although retinoblastoma may occur at any age, it usually occurs in children younger than 5 years, most often younger than 2 years. The tumor may be in one eye or in both eyes. Retinoblastoma rarely spreads from the eye to nearby tissue or other parts of the body.

Retinoblastoma occurs in heritable and nonheritable forms.

A child is thought to have the heritable form of retinoblastoma when one of the following is true:

  • There is a family history of retinoblastoma.
  • There is more than one tumor in the eye.
  • There is a certain change in the retinoblastoma gene...

Read more about Retinoblastoma

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Systematic review of effectiveness of different treatments for childhood retinoblastoma

Retinoblastoma is a malignant tumour of the retina and usually occurs in children under 2 years old. It is relatively rare, with an incidence of one case per 23,000 live births, and accounts for about 3% of all cancers occurring in children younger than 15 years in the UK. It is an aggressive tumour that can lead to loss of vision, and in extreme cases death, although cure rates in developed countries can be in excess of 90%.

Systematic review of effectiveness of different treatments for childhood retinoblastoma

OBJECTIVES: To assess the clinical effectiveness of treatments for childhood retinoblastoma.

Diagnostic performance of magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography for advanced retinoblastoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis

PURPOSE: To determine and compare the diagnostic performance of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) for the diagnosis of tumor extent in advanced retinoblastoma, using histopathologic analysis as the reference standard.

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Summaries for consumers

Retinoblastoma Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of retinoblastoma in children.

Hot Flashes and Night Sweats (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about causes and treatment of hot flashes and night sweats in cancer patients.

Cancer-Related Post-traumatic Stress (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about post-traumatic stress and related symptoms in cancer patients, cancer survivors, and their family members. Assessment and treatment of these symptoms are discussed.

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Terms to know

Eye
Eyes are the organs of vision. They detect light and convert it.
Genetic
Inherited; having to do with information that is passed from parents to offspring through genes in sperm and egg cells.
Optic Nerve
A bundle of more than 1 million nerve fibers that carries visual messages from the retina to the brain.
Retina
The light-sensitive tissue lining at the back of the eye. The retina converts light into electrical impulses that are sent to the brain through the optic nerve.

More about Retinoblastoma

Photo of a child

Other terms to know: See all 4
Eye, Genetic, Optic Nerve

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