Registry of Retinoblastoma Patients Receiving Intra-Arterial Chemotherapy

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Dr. Y. Pierre Gobin of Weill Cornell and Dr. David Abramson of Memorial Sloan-Kettering are conducting a study to track the use of intra-arterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma (a cancer of the eye in young children).

Dr. Gobin, Director of Interventional Radiology at Weill Cornell, and Dr. Abramson, Chief of Ophthalmic Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, invented this technique in 2006 as an alternative to enucleation (removal of the eye) in the cases of advanced cancers. The procedure has now been performed more than 750 times to treat more than 220 eyes (each eye receives multiple treatments).

Intra-arterial chemotherapy saves approximately 80 percent of eyes in children who are referred immediately with no prior treatment, and 50 percent of eyes in children treated after having failed prior treatments at other institutions. 

The intra-arterial chemotherapy interventions are performed under general anesthesia. The femoral artery (at the upper part of the leg) is punctured and a microcatheter (a very small plastic tube) is advanced into the ophthalmic artery (the artery of the eye) using fluoroscopic (X-ray) guidance. The chemotherapy drugs are injected directly into the ophthalmic artery over a period of 20 to 30 minutes. The microcatheter is then removed and manual compression is exerted to the femoral artery. The child is awakened and goes to recovery for five hours.

The effect of each intra-arterial chemotherapy procedure is judged at the eye examination performed after 4 weeks, and repeated if appropriate, for an average of 3.4 sessions.

Contact: Y. Pierre Gobin, M.D.