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Oncology - Ophthalmology - Pediatrics and Child Health - Radiology and Medical Imaging

Combined, Sequential Intravenous and Intra-Arterial Chemotherapy (Bridge Chemotherapy) for Young Infants with Retinoblastoma
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Author: Y. Pierre Gobin et al.

by Y. Pierre Gobin, Ira J. Dunkel, Brian P. Marr, Jasmine H. Francis, Scott E. Brodie, David H. Abramson


Intra-arterial (IA) chemotherapy has more risks of procedural complications in neonates and young infants. For these reasons, we have developed a strategy of bridge intravenous single agent chemotherapy to postpone IA chemotherapy in these children


Neonates and young infants with retinoblastoma who required chemotherapy were treated with systemic carboplatin chemotherapy (18.7 mg/kg IV every 3–4 weeks) until they reached the age of 3 months and a weight of 6 Kg. If necessary, IA chemotherapy was subsequently performed at 4 weeks intervals. Efficacy was judged by tumor regression on ophthalmological examination. Retinal toxicity was judged by electroretinography.


Eleven children (19 eyes) were treated. All patients are alive and no patient has developed metastatic disease or second malignancies (mean follow-up 27 months, range 9–46 months). Intravenous carboplatin (median 2 cycles, range 1–5) combined with cryotherapy and laser was given to all children. This was effective for five eyes, which did not require IA chemotherapy. IA chemotherapy was administered to 14 eyes (median 3.5 cycles per eye, range 1 to 6). No radiation therapy was required. The Kaplan Meier estimate of ocular radiation-free survival was 94.7% at one year (95% confidence interval 68.1–99.2%). One eye was enucleated due to tumor progression. ERG showed no deterioration of retinal function.


Bridge IV-IA chemotherapy was feasible and safe, and is a promising strategy to treat retinoblastoma in neonates and young infants.