Publications by authors named "Amanda Alejos"

2 Publications

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Global Retinoblastoma Presentation and Analysis by National Income Level.

JAMA Oncol 2020 05;6(5):685-695

Imam Hussein Cancer Center, Karbala, Iraq.

Importance: Early diagnosis of retinoblastoma, the most common intraocular cancer, can save both a child's life and vision. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that many children across the world are diagnosed late. To our knowledge, the clinical presentation of retinoblastoma has never been assessed on a global scale.

Objectives: To report the retinoblastoma stage at diagnosis in patients across the world during a single year, to investigate associations between clinical variables and national income level, and to investigate risk factors for advanced disease at diagnosis.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A total of 278 retinoblastoma treatment centers were recruited from June 2017 through December 2018 to participate in a cross-sectional analysis of treatment-naive patients with retinoblastoma who were diagnosed in 2017.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Age at presentation, proportion of familial history of retinoblastoma, and tumor stage and metastasis.

Results: The cohort included 4351 new patients from 153 countries; the median age at diagnosis was 30.5 (interquartile range, 18.3-45.9) months, and 1976 patients (45.4%) were female. Most patients (n = 3685 [84.7%]) were from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Globally, the most common indication for referral was leukocoria (n = 2638 [62.8%]), followed by strabismus (n = 429 [10.2%]) and proptosis (n = 309 [7.4%]). Patients from high-income countries (HICs) were diagnosed at a median age of 14.1 months, with 656 of 666 (98.5%) patients having intraocular retinoblastoma and 2 (0.3%) having metastasis. Patients from low-income countries were diagnosed at a median age of 30.5 months, with 256 of 521 (49.1%) having extraocular retinoblastoma and 94 of 498 (18.9%) having metastasis. Lower national income level was associated with older presentation age, higher proportion of locally advanced disease and distant metastasis, and smaller proportion of familial history of retinoblastoma. Advanced disease at diagnosis was more common in LMICs even after adjusting for age (odds ratio for low-income countries vs upper-middle-income countries and HICs, 17.92 [95% CI, 12.94-24.80], and for lower-middle-income countries vs upper-middle-income countries and HICs, 5.74 [95% CI, 4.30-7.68]).

Conclusions And Relevance: This study is estimated to have included more than half of all new retinoblastoma cases worldwide in 2017. Children from LMICs, where the main global retinoblastoma burden lies, presented at an older age with more advanced disease and demonstrated a smaller proportion of familial history of retinoblastoma, likely because many do not reach a childbearing age. Given that retinoblastoma is curable, these data are concerning and mandate intervention at national and international levels. Further studies are needed to investigate factors, other than age at presentation, that may be associated with advanced disease in LMICs.
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May 2020

Delayed Enucleation With Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Advanced Intraocular Unilateral Retinoblastoma: AHOPCA II, a Prospective, Multi-Institutional Protocol in Central America.

J Clin Oncol 2019 11 19;37(31):2875-2882. Epub 2019 Sep 19.

St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN.

Purpose: Treatment abandonment because of enucleation refusal is a limitation of improving outcomes for children with retinoblastoma in countries with limited resources. Furthermore, many children present with buphthalmos and a high risk of globe rupture during enucleation. To address these unique circumstances, the AHOPCA II protocol introduced neoadjuvant chemotherapy with delayed enucleation.

Patients And Methods: Patients with advanced unilateral intraocular disease (International Retinoblastoma Staging System [IRSS] stage I) were considered for upfront enucleation. Those with diffuse invasion of the choroid, postlaminar optic nerve, and/or anterior chamber invasion received six cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy (vincristine, carboplatin, and etoposide). Patients with buphthalmos and those with a perceived risk for enucleation refusal and/or abandonment were given two to three cycles of chemotherapy before scheduled enucleation followed by adjuvant chemotherapy to complete six cycles, regardless of pathology.

Results: A total of 161 patients had unilateral IRSS stage I disease; 102 underwent upfront enucleation, and 59 had delayed enucleation. The estimated 5-year abandonment-sensitive event-free and overall survival rates for the group were 0.81 ± 0.03 and 0.86 ± 0.03, respectively. The 5-year estimated abandonment-sensitive event-free survival rates for patients undergoing upfront and delayed enucleation were 0.89 ± 0.03 and 0.68 ± 0.06, respectively ( = .001). Compared with AHOPCA I, abandonment for patients with IRSS stage I retinoblastoma decreased from 16% to 4%.

Conclusion: AHOPCA describes the results of advanced intraocular retinoblastoma treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. In eyes with buphthalmos and patients with risk of abandonment, neoadjuvant chemotherapy can be effective when followed by enucleation and adjuvant chemotherapy. Our study suggests that this approach can save patients with buphthalmos from ocular rupture and might reduce refusal of enucleation and abandonment.
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November 2019