Retinoblastoma is a rare cancer affecting children that needs our attention right away. This childhood cancer affects about 300 children in the US and 10,000 worldwide with high impact on childhood mortality where resources are poor, such as Africa. Because Retinoblastoma occurs in babies and young children who are not able to cooperate with examinations, treatment and monitoring requires general anesthesia in a hospital repeated frequently. Because retinoblastoma is caused by a damaged gene, both eyes may be affected and children need repeated eye examinations and lifelong surveillance for other cancers. The children are currently treated with multiple rounds of systemic chemotherapy that increase risk of anemia requiring transfusions and the risk of infections, including COVID-19. Other local treatments like laser, radiation, and intra-arterial chemotherapy have additional risks to eyesight and serious consequences. The cost to the family both emotionally and financially can be very challenging.
A novel approach to treat retinoblastoma is being assessed for safety and efficacy to control difficult retinoblastoma tumors. A Cure In Sight is working with 3T Technologies to develop a treatment that will reduce the need for invasive therapies, yet successfully treat the tumors in the child’s eye, preserve vision and save the eye and the child’s life. The first clinical trial is studying delivery of chemotherapy directly to the eye by diffusion from a small silicon chamber glued to the white surface near the back of the eye for 42 days. See the link to this clinical trial at https://clinicaltrials.gov. Please donate today to help us further this exciting research and help save the sight and the life of these babies. Please stay tuned to our Insight podcast where Dr. Kim Cockerham, Dr. Brenda Gallie, and David Carpi of 3T Technologies discuss retinoblastoma.
For more information on Retinoblastoma, click HERE.