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Results of a stage-based protocol for the treatment of retinoblastoma.

PURPOSE: To describe the treatment of retinoblastoma at a single institution using a prospective protocol based on histopathologic staging.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We included 116 consecutive patients (101 eligible, 46 bilateral) from August 1987 to December 1993. Treatment was enucleation or conservative therapy for intraocular disease (stage I patients). Stage II patients (orbital or postlaminar invasion) received vincristine, cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin for 57 weeks. Patients with orbital mass and extension beyond the cut end of the optic nerve also received orbital radiotherapy (45 Gy). The latter received intrathecal therapy. In those with CNS (stage III) or hematogenous metastasis (stage IV), cisplatin and etoposide were added along with cranial (in patients with a CNS mass and prophylactically in stage IV) or craniospinal (in patients with positive CSF) radiotherapy.

RESULTS: The median follow-up time was 39 months (range, 12 to 84). The overall survival rate was 0.84. Survival rates according to stage were as follows: stage I probability of overall survival [pOS] = 0.97) (alive/total), 59 of 60; stage II (pOS = 0.85) including patients with scattered episcleral cells, three of three; orbital mass, one of one; postlaminar invasion up to and beyond the cut end of optic nerve, 10 of 11 and 11 of 14, respectively; of stage III (pOS = 0), zero of six; and stage IV (pOS = 0.50), three of six. Only those patients with preauricular adenopathy as the only metastatic site survived in the latter group. Acute toxicity was mild.

CONCLUSION: Chemotherapy is not warranted to prevent systemic metastasis for intraocular disease. Patients with extraocular orbital disease and had a good outcome with this therapy. Patients with metastatic disease fared poorly, except for those with isolated malignant preauricular adenopathy.

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