Retinoblastoma: What is new in 2007–2008

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA.
Current opinion in ophthalmology (Impact Factor: 2.5). 12/2008; 19(6):526-34. DOI: 10.1097/ICU.0b013e328312975b
Source: PubMed


This review highlights many of the most important articles published from June 2007 to May 2008 on retinoblastoma. Significant advances in molecular biology, translational research, and clinical reports are detailed.
The most significant recent findings in the molecular biology of retinoblastoma include the evidence for aneuploidy and genomic instability as cancer causes rather than the long-held Knudson's 'two-hit' hypothesis; the evidence that retinoma may represent a precursor lesion for retinoblastoma prior to the acquisition of genomic instability; and the evidence that a horizontal interneuron may be the cell of origin in murine knockout retinoblastoma and may be capable of clonal expansion after differentiation. Translational studies also demonstrate promise for the use of topotecan and 2-deoxy-D-glucose in children. Finally, the introduction of intraarterial chemotherapy for human intraocular retinoblastoma appears to be safe and effective and may eliminate the need for enucleation in many patients.
Exciting new advances in both the basic science and clinical applications of new therapies continue to emerge for this rare disease. We expect that local control rates even for advanced intraocular retinoblastoma will soon reach 100% in the developed world as a result of new findings in the clinic and in the laboratory.

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    • "Since its introduction by French investigators nearly twenty years ago [6], carboplatin has been the most used drug used worldwide for intraocular retinoblastoma. More than 100 publications have supported its use [30]: carboplatin has been used as a single agent [31], in combination with one [32] or two additional drugs (vincristine and etoposide) [6], [7], [33] and in some cases with the addition of pulsed high dose Cyclosporine [34]. Expected side effects of systemically administered multi-agent chemotherapy that have been recorded include cytopenia, fever/neutropenia and, very uncommonly, death [35]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Carboplatin administered systemically or periocularly can result in dramatic and prompt regression of retinoblastoma. However, both routes are rarely curative alone and have undesirable side effects. We aimed to assess the efficacy and toxicity of carboplatin +/- topotecan delivered by ophthalmic artery chemosurgery whereby chemotherapy is infused into the eye via the ophthalmic artery. This retrospective, IRB-approved study investigated retinoblastoma patients whom received carboplatin +/- topotecan ophthalmic artery chemosurgery. Patient survival, ocular survival, hematologic toxicity, ocular toxicity, second cancer development and electroretinogram response were all evaluated. 57 carboplatin +/- topotecan infusions (of 111 total) were performed in 31 eyes of 24 patients. The remaining infusions were melphalan-containing. All patients were alive and no patient developed a second malignancy at a median follow up of 25 months. The Kaplan-Meier estimate of ocular survival at two years was 89.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 82.1-97.9%) for all eyes. Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia developed in two patients and one patient developed metastatic disease. By univariate analysis, neither increasing maximum carboplatin/topotecan dose nor cumulative carboplatin/topotecan dose was associated with statistically significant reduction in the electroretinogram responses. Carboplatin +/- topotecan infusions are effective for ophthalmic artery chemosurgery in retinoblastoma: they demonstrate low hematologic and ocular toxicity and no statistically significant influence on electroretinogram responses, and used in conjunction with melphalan-containing OAC, demonstrate excellent patient survival and satisfactory ocular survival.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "It was not by chance that we had to approach many different scientific journals to have access to the medical community about the role of aneuploidy and genomic instability in the genesis of Rb [4, 5, 39]. We are still optimistic, however, because our alternative pathogenetic explanation has finally appeared in recent ophthalmologic literature [40]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Retinoblastoma (Rb) is considered to represent the prototype of cancer linked to the sequential loss or inactivation of both alleles of a so-called "tumor suppressor gene", the Rb1 gene. The pathogenetic mechanism behind this tumor was first hypothesized by Knudson in 1971 and further confirmed by others who identified the Rb1 gene whose loss or inactivation was claimed to be responsible for the disease. However, after about four decades of continuous research in the field of molecular biology, the evidence behind the role of the Rb1 gene in Rb appears to be seriously flawed in the light of epidemiological, biological, and clinical evidences. This editorial summarizes the inconsistencies on this subject. Nevertheless, the molecular biology establishment still adheres to the biased view of the genetic origin of Rb and other cancers, and hardly any alternative explanations are taken into account.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2009 · Journal of Cancer Epidemiology
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