Ocular preservation after 36 Gy external beam radiation therapy for retinoblastoma

Thomas E. Merchant, Ciara J. Gould, Nathan E. Hilton, Larry E. Kun, Carlos Rodríguez-Galindo, Charles B. Pratt, Matthew W. Wilson, Barrett Haik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to document the ocular preservation rate after 36 Gy external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) for retinoblastoma. Patients and Methods: Forty-nine eyes of 38 patients were treated with a median dose of 36 Gy EBRT. The patient population included 7 unilateral and 31 bilateral presentations, with a median age at diagnosis of 4 months. Eyes enucleated at the time of diagnosis or treated with other measures were not included in the analysis of ocular preservation. The median age at EBRT was 8 months. Patients were monitored for progression of disease after EBRT and second malignant neoplasms. Results: The median follow-up was 88.6 months, with an estimated ocular preservation rate of 82.0% ± 5% at 10 years. There was a difference in the ocular preservation rates for patients with advanced disease (Reese-Ellsworth group III-V) compared with early disease. Metastatic disease developed in two patients, and a second malignant neoplasm developed in three. Patients treated with en face electrons experienced a lower 5-year estimate of ocular preservation than those treated with photons, although patients treated with electrons were more likely to have advanced disease. Conclusions: The use of low-dose EBRT (36 Gy) results in ocular preservation rates that are comparable to those of high-dose EBRT. The use of electrons requires careful treatment planning and computerized dosimetry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-249
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • Radiation therapy
  • Retinoblastoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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