The big “c” word, also known as cancer, has affected each and every one of us. Whether we have fought the battle ourselves, or have stood by family or friends while they faced it head on, we can all agree advancement in treatment and cures is constantly changing. This is just one reason why doctors at Cincinnati Children’s continue to lead the way in researching and advancing treatment for various types of cancer.
In May of 2008, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital became one of the first three hospitals in North America to offer a new form of therapy for a rare form of pediatric eye cancer called retinoblastoma. The new therapy, known as selective ophthalmic artery infusion chemotherapy (SOAIC), allows the elimination of cancer cells in the eye without having to surgically remove the eye. Since this type of chemotherapy is targeted to tumor cells with surgical precision, the negative side effects of chemotherapy (nausea, vomiting, hearing loss, bone marrow toxicity resulting in infections and bleeding) are usually avoided.
Prior to the development of this pioneering new approach, children with intermediate to advanced retinoblastoma could only be treated by surgical removal of the affected eye or a combination of intravenous chemotherapy and radiation. Unfortunately, intravenous chemotherapy and radiation often failed to control the tumor and frequently resulted in blindness (because of radiation effects on the eye) or radiation-induced tumors elsewhere. SOAIC, which is performed in state-of-the-art Interventional Radiology suites at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, offers the promise of long-term tumor remission with eye salvage and preservation of vision in the affected eye.
Doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital continue to lead advances in the field. A new method of SOAIC that we developed here at Cincinnati Children’s was recently featured on the cover of the Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery (JNIS October 2015, Volume 7, Issue 10 p 770-776.). Whether you are bringing your child to our facility for just one visit, or are becoming a regular, you can take comfort in knowing Children’s Hospital is leading the way with top notch care every day.
Contributions by Dr. Todd Abruzzo and edited by Bessie Ganim, (RT-NucMed).