Background/aim Laser photocoagulation is less invasive than chemotherapy (systemic, intra-arterial or periocular) and brachytherapy. We studied the safety and efficacy of laser as primary monotherapy for discrete retinoblastoma with well-defined borders and attached retina.
Methods A single-institution retrospective non-comparative review (2004–2018) of discrete retinoblastoma tumours managed with primary laser (532 or 810 nm wavelength, 0.5–1 s duration and power titrated until desired tumour whitening). Efficacy was evaluated by tumour long-term stability avoiding non-laser therapies. Safety was evaluated by frequency of laser-related complications and uncontrollable tumour progression.
Results Eligible were 112 tumours in 55 eyes of 44 patients. Laser monotherapy (median 2 sessions) achieved initial remission in 95/112 (85%) tumour. Initial encircling only laser photocoagulation was associated with tumour progression (9/11, one tumour had vitreous seeding) compared with direct or combined photocoagulation techniques (0/94 and 0/7 tumours, respectively, p<0.001). Direct laser had no vitreous seeding, haemorrhage or injury to vital structures. Tumour recurrences developed in 52/112 (46%) tumour but repeat laser achieved long-term stability, except five tumour recurrences that required invasive therapy. Receiver operating characteristic analysis identified threshold largest basal diameter of 3 disc diameters (DD) for successful laser monotherapy, where 92/106 (87%) of tumours ≤3 DD and 0/6>3 DD achieved long-term stability with laser monotherapy (p<0.001). Overall, 35/55 (64%) eyes and 24/44 (55%) patients achieved long-term stability with laser monotherapy. No eye was enucleated for uncontrollable tumour progression.
Conclusions Discrete retinoblastoma ≤3 DD can be effectively and safely managed with laser monotherapy, sparing a significant proportion of patients/eyes from more invasive therapies.
- treatment lasers
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as online supplemental information.
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Contributors Conceptualisation: SS and BG; methodology: SS and ZXF; validation: SS and ZXF; data curation: SS and ZXF; writing—original draft preparation: SS, ZXF and BG; writing—review and editing: SS, ZXF and BG; image construction: SS, ZXF and BG. Supervision: SS and BG.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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