Retinoblastoma is a form of eye cancer that affects the cells of the retina. It is somewhat rare (one out of every 15,000 to 20,000 births), and affects babies and young children, generally before the age of 5. This serious disease can affect just one eye (unilateral tumor in 60% of cases), or both eyes (bilateral tumors in 40% of cases). Institut Curie is the leading treatment center for this retina cancer in France. Between 1995 and 2009, 730 young children suffering from retinoblastoma were cared for at Institut Curie. 411 children had the cancer in one eye only, and 319 had the cancer in both eyes.
“Today in industrialized countries, the vast majority of patients suffering from retinoblastoma are cured. Among the young patients treated between 1995 and 2009, the survival rate was 98.5%,” explains Dr Laurence Desjardins, ophthalmological surgeon and head of the ophthalmology department.