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What is Retinoblastoma?

  • Retinoblastoma is a rare childhood cancer of the eye. It arises from the retina, the nerve tissue in the back of the eye that is sensitive to light. Thanks to advances in diagnosis and treatment, more than 95% of children with retinoblastoma can now be cured.

    • Retinoblastoma is usually diagnosed before the age of 2, and more than 90% of cases are diagnosed by age 5.
    • The tumor(s) may be present in one or both eyes, and rarely spreads to other parts of the body.
    • Retinoblastoma may be inherited within a family or may occur in a child without any family history of the disease.

    Retinoblastoma treatment at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's

    Children with retinoblastoma are treated through the Retinoblastoma Program at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. We offer the full range of multidisciplinary treatment options for retinoblastoma, including intra-arterial chemotherapy – a recently-developed treatment option that often can provide the most effective retinoblastoma treatment with the fewest side effects.

    Learn more about retinoblastoma

    Find in-depth information on retinoblastoma on the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's website, including answers to:

    • How is retinoblastoma diagnosed?
    • What is the best treatment for retinoblastoma?
    • What is the latest research on retinoblastoma?
    • What is the long-term outlook for children with retinoblastoma?