The modern role of radiation therapy in treating advanced-stage retinoblastoma: Long-term outcomes and racial differences

Amber Orman, Tulay Koru-Sengul, Feng Miao, Arnold Markoe, Joseph E. Panoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose/Objective(s) To evaluate the effects of various patient characteristics and radiation therapy treatment variables on outcomes in advanced-stage retinoblastoma.

Methods and Materials This was a retrospective review of 41 eyes of 30 patients treated with external beam radiation therapy between June 1, 1992, and March 31, 2012, with a median follow-up time of 133 months (11 years). Outcome measures included overall survival, progression-free survival, local control, eye preservation rate, and toxicity.

Results Over 90% of the eyes were stage V. Definitive external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) was delivered in 43.9% of eyes, adjuvant EBRT in 22% of eyes, and second-line/salvage EBRT in 34.1% of eyes. A relative lens sparing (RLS) technique was used in 68.3% of eyes and modified lens sparing (MLS) in 24.4% of eyes. Three eyes were treated with other techniques. Doses ≥45 Gy were used in 68.3% of eyes. Chemotherapy was a component of treatment in 53.7% of eyes. The 10-year overall survival was 87.7%, progression-free survival was 80.5%, and local control was 87.8%. White patients had significantly better overall survival than did African-American patients in univariate analysis (hazard ratio 0.09; 95% confidence interval 0.01-0.84; P=.035). Toxicity was seen in 68.3% of eyes, including 24.3% with isolated acute dermatitis.

Conclusions External beam radiation therapy continues to be an effective treatment modality for advanced retinoblastoma, achieving excellent long-term local control and survival with low rates of treatment-related toxicity and secondary malignancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1037-1043
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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