In this paper we describe the treatment and survival of 1576 children with retinoblastoma in Great Britain diagnosed 1963 to 2002.
Methods Survival rates were analysed according to period of diagnosis and tumour laterality.
Results Survival was calculated by calendar period of diagnosis, 1963 to 1982 and 1983 to 2002. For both unilateral and bilateral retinoblastoma survival improved between the two periods. The survival curves for the two periods were significantly different: for unilateral retinoblastoma P<0.00001, for bilateral P<0.01. For unilateral cases, the estimated five-year survival rates rose from 85% for those diagnosed in 1963-1967 to 97% for those diagnosed in 1998-2002. The equivalent rates for bilateral cases were 88% and 100%.
Conclusion Survival rates were already high at the start of the study period. They increased with changes in treatment regimens.