Ophthalmic Artery Chemosurgery Interesting in Retinoblastoma
Retinoblastoma is a rare cancer of the eye that affects very young children, usually before the age of five. For the last 25 years, chemotherapy and local treatments (using a laser) have reduced the use of enucleation and radiotherapy, which were often needed in the past. However, preserving the lives, sight, and future of these very young patients remains a significant challenge for doctors.
Dr. Isabelle Aerts, a pediatrician at Institut Curie, presents the results of a study into another alternative treatment: ophthalmic artery chemosurgery.
“It involves administering chemotherapy into the ophthalmic artery, a small artery that feeds the eye, via a catheter introduced through the femoral artery then guided into the ophthalmic artery. This enables us to deliver a low dose of chemotherapy directly into the eye, avoiding the toxicity associated with high doses and preventing the drug from spreading through the body,” she explains.
The technique dates back to the 1980s, but had been abandoned due to numerous complications. Today, advances in catheterization mean it is back in favor across the world.
“Our study shows that it is feasible and generally well tolerated,” says Dr. Aerts.
“Institut Curie is one of very few institutions in the world to carry out prospective studies on rare cancers such as retinoblastoma, and it is renowned for doing so. These results are therefore of great value to the medical community,” she concludes.