Twelve out of a series of 630 children with retinoblastoma, treated in the ocular oncology units at St Bartholomew's and Moorfields Eye Hospitals during the past 30 years, have developed ectopic intracranial retinoblastoma. The ectopic tumour occurred in the pineal region in eight children and in the suprasellar region in four. Ten patients had bilateral retinoblastoma, one unilateral disease, and one child presented with an isolated suprasellar tumour but no evidence of retinal disease. The interval from the initial diagnosis of retinoblastoma to the development of ectopic intracranial disease ranged from 4 to 70 months, median 34 months. Methods of treatment for the ectopic tumour varied, but all 12 children died with a median survival of only 8 months following the diagnosis of ectopic retinoblastoma. Subsequent spread of tumour to other sites within the central nervous system proved to be the most frequent cause of death. Ectopic intracranial retinoblastoma is a potentially curable neoplasm, but it requires adequate therapy to the whole neuraxis as well as high dose equivalent radiotherapy to the primary tumour.
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