Chemotherapy agents are commonly used to treat tumors inside the eye or when there is a spread outside the eye. Anti-cancer agents are used to destroy cancerous cells. This kind of drugs may cure from malignant tumors and can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments such as cryotherapy, radiotherapy and photocoagulation, etc.

Purpose of Chemotherapy

1.     Cure by killing cancerous cells.

2.     Control reduce the size of tumor before any surgical removal.

3.     Reduce symptoms and associated pain.

4.     Prevention to destroy the remaining malignant cells and prevent recurrence of the disease.

Treatment Strategies

1.     Intravenous: chemotherapy goes directly into a vein via a solution via peripheral vein.

2.   Intra-vitreal.



Side Effects of Chemotherapy

·        Nausea and vomiting mainly within the first 24-48 hours following chemo administration.

·        Loss of appetite.

·        Immunosuppression

Tips for Parents to Limit the Complications of Side Effects 

Parents have very important role in the treatment plan. If your child was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, you have to work side by side with the medical team. To help your child and minimize the complications of the disease, you have to be fully aware of the following about your child condition:

·        Type and stage of tumor.

·        Treatment plan.

·        Scheduled cycles of treatment in details.

·        Possible complications and side effects of chemotherapy and how to handle and control them.

·        Parents must not hesitate to ask the attending physician about their child condition.

·        In case of your child has a fever, report to any local hospital dispensary for medical checkup.  

·        Vaccination: During treatment with chemo, all vaccination will be stopped and resumed only after several months  at end of treatment as per doctor instructions 

·        Parents must give full psychological support to their child.

·        Early intervention always gives better chances for full cure of the disease.