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Retinoblastoma

Retinoblastoma, a malignancy of the retina of the eye, is very rare, but is the most common eye tumor in children, usually occurring before the age of five. The disease accounts for 3% of cancers in children.

About 40% of retinoblastoma cases are hereditary. In inherited retinoblastoma, one mutation in a tumor suppressor gene located on chromosome #13 is inherited from a parent, and a second mutation occurs during the development of the retina. In sporadic retinoblastoma, both mutations occur by chance during retinal development.

If your child has been diagnosed with retinoblastoma, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Retinoblastoma Types

Unilateral retinoblastoma affects one eye and accounts for about 75% of cases. It can either be hereditary or sporadic. The latter usually occurs in children over age one and is about 75% to 80% of unilateral cases.

Bilateral retinoblastoma affects both eyes, and usually indicates a genetic influence. In one-fourth of cases, there is a positive family history. A new mutation occurs in about 75% of cases. The disease can also be the result of inheritance from a parent who carries but does not have symptoms of retinoblastoma. About 10% of carriers do not develop the disease. Patients with bilateral retinoblastoma are usually diagnosed at a younger age (under one year old) than those with unilateral disease.

Trilateral retinoblastoma: Children with inherited retinoblastoma develop an associated intracranial neuroblastic (originating in primitive nerve cells) tumor. These tumors are rare, occurring in about 5% of patients with bilateral retinoblastoma.

If your child has been diagnosed with retinoblastoma, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Why Choose MD Anderson?

  • The Children’s Cancer Hospital is within the No. 1 cancer center in America
  • Access to novel therapies and state-of-the-art technologies before most children’s hospitals
  • We see more types of cancer than any other children’s hospital in Texas
  • Family-centered care that actively involves parents in their child’s treatment
  • A strong cancer research program focused on developing new therapies for pediatric patients
  • Comprehensive support services such as an accredited school program, creative arts, child life and career counseling
  • An Adolescent and Young Adult Program that specializes in the unique medical and psychological needs of patients aged 15-25

Retinoblastoma Knowledge Center

Treatment at MD Anderson

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