Eyes of 65% of children living with retinoblastoma can be saved through intra-arterial chemotherapy, also known as targeted form of chemotherapy, Prof Bhavana Chawla, Department of Ophthalmology, Rajendra Prasad Center, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi said.
Prof. Chawla explained in an interview with Drug Today Medical Times that although it is not used in every case of retinoblastoma, there are situations where it is urgent to save the eye and surgery is not an option. It is a targeted form of chemotherapy.
The targeted chemotherapy is given through the ophthalmic artery, the artery that delivers blood to the eye, after the usual type of chemotherapy has been tried first and failed.
This artery is really tiny. Interventional neuroradiologists use tiny catheters to deliver the chemotherapy. This has the potential to save 65% of retinoblastoma-affected children's eyes. This is a good figure that gives parents optimism.
Retinoblastoma can affect one or both eyes, according to Dr. Shailesh B. Gaikwad, an interventional neuroradiologist at AIIMS. Most children with retinoblastoma are between the ages of one and three.
He emphasized the need for greater awareness of retinoblastoma. Treatment options include intra-arterial chemotherapy.
“Whitish marks near pupils can be a sign of retinoblastoma and it can also be detected through screening. This condition is also known as leukocoria is an abnormal pupillary reflex more clearly seen after mydriasis or photography,” Dr Gaikwad explained.
According to Prof. Bhavana Chawla, India reports the most retinoblastoma instances worldwide. In India, there are thought to be 2,000 new cases of retinoblastoma diagnosed each year.
These individuals require appropriate care as well as ongoing monitoring.
Retinoblastoma has a hereditary basis, she said.
“The second child should be checked for retinoblastoma if there is a family history of the lethal disease and even if one child in the family has already been diagnosed,” the renowned ophthalmologist pointed out.