Background Adjuvant use of laser with systemic chemotherapy for treatment of retinoblastoma may reduce recurrence rates while also causing local side effects. Information is lacking on the effect of laser on visual outcomes.
Methods A retrospective review of two retinoblastoma centres in the United Kingdom was conducted. Patients were included if there was a macular tumour in at least one eye. Eyes that received chemotherapy alone were compared with eyes that received chemotherapy plus adjuvant laser.
Results A total of 76 patients and 91 eyes were included in the study. Systemic chemotherapy alone was used in 71 eyes while chemotherapy plus laser was used in 20 eyes. Demographic characteristics of both groups were similar. Macular relapse rates were similar between groups: 22/71 (31%) eyes in chemotherapy group and 9/20 (45%) eyes in laser group (p=0.29). There was no increase in vitreous relapses in the laser group (2/20 eyes), compared with the chemotherapy group 10/71 eyes (p=0.99). Survival analysis demonstrated similar time to first relapse between groups. Final visual acuity was equal between groups with 6/15 or better present in 31.1% of eyes in the chemotherapy group and 37.5% of eyes in the laser group (p=0.76). Presence of tumour at the fovea was predictive of final visual acuity, regardless of treatment group.
Conclusion Adjuvant laser in the treatment of retinoblastoma is safe and does not lead to increased rate of vitreous recurrence. Final visual acuity is determined by the presence of tumour at the fovea and not the use of laser.
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