Retinoblastoma is a kind of eye cancer that affects the retina—the very back part of the eye. It is the most common kind of cancer that affects children the most.

Having your child suffer from cancer is already a painful experience. Therefore, in this article, we’re discussing the new advances in the treatment of retinoblastoma.

Treatment Of Retinoblastoma

In most cases, a team of doctors called a multidisciplinary team works with the child patient and their family and provides care. Children’s cancer centers often have various support services available for children and their families, including dieticians, occupational and physical therapists, counselors, and social workers. These ensure that the child and their family receive support to cope with emotional and physical distress.

Here are a few treatment options currently available for retinoblastoma. You will find more detailed information in


If the tumor is small, there is no need for surgery.

However, if the tumor has grown enough that it is affecting the vision, the condition would need surgery. In the worst case, the tumor can take away vision forever.

Enucleation or surgery to remove the eye is a possible treatment option for retinoblastoma.

The surgery is done under general anesthesia. After removing the eye, an orbital implant is done that takes place of the eye. The implant consists of hydroxyapatite or silicone and is attached to the muscles that move the eye, so it moves the same way.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy involves the use of high radiation or energy particles to destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy is an effective treatment procedure for children with retinoblastoma. Moreover, this method is better than enucleation as it has the possibility of saving the vision of the eye.

External Beam Radiation Therapy

External Beam Radiation Therapy or EBRT focuses radiation beams on cancer or tumor from an outside source. This therapy resulted in a few side effects, so newer methods are now being used instead.

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy or IMRT allows the radiation beams to aim at the tumor from various angles, as well as modulate the intensity so that the nearby tissues aren’t affected.

Proton Beam Therapy

Proton Beam Therapy uses proton beams instead of X-rays to destroy cancer cells. With this therapy, there is less damage to body cells.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy has laser beams that destroy small tumors in the eye.

Laser Photocoagulation

This treatment method uses a laser beam aimed at the pupil of the eye. The laser destroys the blood vessels surrounding the tumor, thereby, limiting its blood supply. This method is effective for tumors that are small and form at the back of the eye.

Transpupillary Thermal Therapy

In this treatment method, an infra-red laser is used for heating and killing the tumor. Thermal therapy is also used for small tumors; however, larger tumors can be treated with both thermal therapy and chemotherapy.


In cryotherapy, the medical team will cool a metal probe to low temperatures and destroy the retinoblastoma cells by freezing them.

This treatment method is viable for small tumors that happen at the front of the eye. Moreover, this isn’t for children with various tumors.


Chemotherapy, or simply, Chemo, is the use of anti-cancer drugs to treat retinoblastoma.

You can click here if you want specific information in relation to chemotherapy treatment in young patients.

Systemic Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy drugs, when administered through mouth or IV, enter the patient’s blood and reach throughout the body. This is called systemic chemotherapy.

Intra-arterial Chemotherapy

In this chemotherapy, the drugs are injected directly into the ophthalmic artery that supplies blood to the eyes.

In this method, a thin catheter is inserted into the inner thigh and threaded gently to the ophthalmic nerve under general anesthesia.

Because the method targets the affected area, few doses of the drug can be administered, and hence, fewer side effects can be seen.

A Final Word

In this article, we have discussed several current treatments of retinoblastoma.

Retinoblastoma is a type of eye cancer that affects small children. There are many treatments available, a few of which are mentioned in this article.

This is not an exhaustive list and is highly recommended that you consult with your primary healthcare provider and oncologist for the treatment of your particular case. It is also recommended that you talk to your doctors about your health history, as well as treatment concerns that you may have.