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Retinoblastoma

Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in the Delaware Valley and Florida

Locations & Doctors Who Treat Retinoblastoma

 
Delaware

Wilmington

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children

1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803
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For Appointments: (800) 416-4441

Doctors Who Treat Retinoblastoma at This Location

 
New Jersey

Voorhees

Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Voorhees

443 Laurel Oak Road
Therapy Services (Suite 200)
Pediatric Specialty Services (Suite 230)
Voorhees, NJ 08043
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For Appointments: (800) 416-4441

Hours: Fourth Friday each month; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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Doctors Who Treat Retinoblastoma at This Location

 
Pennsylvania

Philadelphia

Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Philadelphia

833 Chestnut St. E., Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19107
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For Appointments: (800) 416-4441

Hours: Monday–Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Doctors Who Treat Retinoblastoma at This Location


Lancaster

Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Lancaster

2128 Embassy Drive, Suite A
Lancaster, PA 17603
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For Appointments: (800) 416-4441

Hours: Hours vary; please call
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Doctors Who Treat Retinoblastoma at This Location

 
Florida

Orlando

Nemours Children's Hospital, Orlando

13535 Nemours Parkway
Orlando, FL 32827
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For Appointments: (407) 650-7715

Doctors Who Treat Retinoblastoma at This Location


Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Orlando

1717 S. Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32806
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For Appointments: (407) 650-7715

Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Doctors Who Treat Retinoblastoma at This Location


Melbourne

Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Melbourne

1270 N. Wickham Road
Melbourne, FL 32935
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For Appointments: (407) 650-7715

Hours: Monday–Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Doctors Who Treat Retinoblastoma at This Location

To find out which providers serve this location, please call the main number above.

Jacksonville

Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Jacksonville

807 Children’s Way
Jacksonville, FL 32207
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For Appointments: (904) 697-3789

Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Doctors Who Treat Retinoblastoma at This Location


Pensacola

Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Pensacola

5153 N. Ninth Ave.
Pensacola, FL 32504
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For Appointments: (850) 505-4790

Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Central Time)
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Doctors Who Treat Retinoblastoma at This Location

About Retinoblastoma in Children

Retinoblastoma, which occurs most commonly in children under the age of 5 years old, is a malignant (cancerous) tumor that grows in the retina — the light-sensing part of the eye that sends the images we see to the brain. Children who develop retinoblastoma are often diagnosed before 2 years old. A child’s age at diagnosis often correlates with laterality (that is, whether the disease is found in one or both eyes). For example, children with retinoblastoma in both eyes often are diagnosed within the first 12 months of life.

Retinoblastoma is the most common eye cancer in children, accounting for about 3 percent of cancers in kids younger than 15 years old. Retinoblastoma in children rarely metastasizes (spreads) beyond the eyeball, but it can metastasize to the brain, spine, blood, soft tissues and bone marrow.

Our renowned oncologists, hematologists and researchers at the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, a Children’s Oncology Group (COG) member institution, work together with top Nemours ophthalmologists (who are pioneers in detecting ophthalmologic disorders in utero, or still in the womb) to diagnose and provide retinoblastoma treatment in children, kids have excellent outcomes.


Types of Retinoblastoma We Treat

At Nemours, we offer retinoblastoma treatment for children of all ages, from newborns to adolescents. Types of retinoblastoma we treat include: 

 
Hereditary Retinoblastoma

Hereditary (present at birth) retinoblastoma is caused by a genetic change (called a “germline mutation”) in the Rb1 gene that’s inherited from an affected parent or may have occurred at the time of conception; and a second genetic mutation that occurs while the baby develops in the womb. Hereditary retinoblastoma may present as tumors in both eyes, multiple tumors in one eye, or a family history of retinoblastoma. Genetic testing is performed to further identify hereditary retinoblastoma.

 
Sporadic Retinoblastoma (Nonheritable Retinoblastoma)

Also known as “unilateral retinoblastoma” (because it occurs mainly in one eye), sporadic retinoblastoma represents 70 to 75 percent of all retinoblastoma cases. This type is caused by simultaneous genetic changes in the Rb1 gene that occur randomly (by chance) during retinal development. Only the tumor contains these genetic mutations — the rest of the body has normal Rb1 genes.

Diagnosing Retinoblastoma in Children

Signs & Symptoms of Retinoblastoma

  • pupil leukocoria (white or yellowish area in the dark part of the eye seen in light or, commonly, in flash photography)
  • poorly aligned (“wandering”) eyes
  • vision problems
  • eye pain 

Testing & Evaluations

If your child possibly has retinoblastoma, we work together to appropriately diagnose and stage the disease through a variety of tests and procedures, including:

  • thorough eye examination, physical examination and medical history
  • blood tests 
  • medical imaging (typically with MRI and/or ultrasound)
If there is concern the cancer has spread, you doctor may recommend additional tests, such as:
  • lumbar puncture
  • bone marrow biopsy and aspiration

Treating & Caring for Children With Retinoblastoma

Your Child's Comprehensive Retinoblastoma Care Team

If we discover retinoblastoma, our multidisciplinary (collaborative) team plans the most effective treatment personalized to your child’s needs. In addition to an experienced, compassionate cancer coordinator (a nurse who provides your child and family support, education and care coordination), Nemours’ pediatric eye cancer teams include: 

  • oncologists (cancer specialists)
  • hematologists (specialists in blood disorders)
  • ophthalmologists (eye specialists)
  • ocular oncologists (ophthalmologists who specialize in eye cancer)
  • surgeons (general and ophthalmologic surgeons)
  • pathologists (diagnose diseases by examining body tissues, fluids and organs)
  • geneticists (perform genetic counseling and testing)
  • radiologists (diagnose diseases through medical imaging)
  • radiation oncologists (specialists in radiation therapy treatment)
  • interventional radiologists (perform image-guided minimally-invasive procedures)
  • behavioral health specialists (psychologists and psychiatrists)
  • registered dieticians (nutrition specialists)
  • oncology nurses (registered nurses specializing in cancer)  

Your care team is here to provide your family with ongoing support and follow-up. We always include you in the entire process, because we truly believe in the healing power of families, and that you know your child best. 

Learn More About Nemours’ Pediatric Cancer Care Teams in Your Area »


Innovative Pediatric Retinoblastoma Treatment at Nemours

Retinoblastoma treatment depends on a child’s age, overall health, extent of the disease and other factors. Nemours offers advanced and innovative childhood cancer treatments and approaches (called “modalities”) that aren’t available at other children’s hospitals.

We may use one or a combination of modalities that include:
  • chemotherapy — Tumor-killing medications are given orally, through injection or intravenously (in a vein).
  • external beam radiation — Beams of radiation are carefully focused onto the tumor to kill cancer cells.
  • brachytherapy — Radioactive material (little rods or pellets) is placed within the tumor to deliver beams of radiation to specific areas. This form of treatment minimizes the damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
  • radioactive plaques — A disk is implanted in the eye with a dose of radiation applied directly to the tumor site.
  • cryotherapy — Liquid nitrogen or argon gases (two extremely cold substances) are used to freeze and destroy diseased tissue.
  • transpupillary thermotherapy — Laser energy (through the use of infrared light) heats up cancer cells and surrounding blood vessels, which kills the cells.
  • photocoagulation — Laser energy is delivered to blood vessels surrounding the tumor, causing blood clots and depriving the cancer cells of nutrients.
  • enucleation — In severe cases of retinoblastoma, the entire eyeball is removed to prevent the spread of cancerous cells to other areas of the body.
Via our partners at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Wills Eye Hospital, we also offer:
  • intra-arterial chemotherapy (selective injection of chemotherapy drugs into the blood vessel that feeds the eye to treat tumors within the eye )
For your child’s overall health and wellness, we also prescribe:

Learn More About Pediatric Cancer Treatment at Nemours »

Additional Resources & Support for Families

 
Nemours Support Services

Dealing with childhood cancer is difficult for your child and family. But you don’t have to go through it alone. Nemours provides an array of support services that begin on the very first day we meet, and continues throughout your journey because at Nemours, your child and family become of our own. Our services include:

Our services include: 
  • patient and family education
  • social work
  • mental health counseling
  • Child Life services
  • creative therapy
  • survivorship programs
  • support groups
 
Informative Articles & Videos for Parents From Nemours’ KidsHealth
 
Trusted Retinoblastoma National Resources

American Childhood Cancer Organization — Retinoblastoma: This site provides a wealth of information and support resources for children and teens with cancer.

National Cancer Institute — Retinoblastoma: This website offers information about retinoblastoma treatments, drugs, clinical trials and publications from the National Institute of Health.

 
General Cancer Information & Education

American Cancer Society: The society provides programs and services, and raises funds for research and support programs. On the site, you can find information about cancer, treatments and research, and resources for support.

Cancer.Net: Get oncologist-approved information about cancer and types of cancer from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

National Cancer Institute: The National Cancer Institute is part of the National Institutes of Health and is the federal government's principal agency for cancer research and training. On this site, visitors can learn more about cancer and the types of cancer, and get cancer-related information.

National Institutes of Health: This site provides a vast amount of information on diseases, treatments and research, including the informative site, Medline Plus.

The Children's Oncology Group Family Handbook 2nd Edition (PDF): This book gives families reliable information about treatment, support and follow-up care for children and young people with cancer. 

Appointments & Referrals

Delaware, Pennsylvania & New Jersey

(800) 416-4441


Florida
Jacksonville Area

(904) 697-3789

Orlando Area

(407) 650-7715

Pensacola Area

(850) 505-4790

Learn About Our Locations »


International
Patients

+1 (302) 651-4993

Our Goal: A Better Tomorrow

At the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, we strive to maximize every child's quality of life — today and for many tomorrows. Watch Video »

Top-Notch Cancer Research

We bring the latest scientific advances from the laboratory bench to the bedside to improve care and strive for a cure. Watch Video »