An illustration of a syringe holding medicine. The syringe casts a long shadow in the shape of a dollar symbol.

Investing in Hope: The Quest to Fund Retinoblastoma Research

Research funding is vital to improve retinoblastoma early diagnosis, life and sight-saving treatment, family support, survivor care, and cancer prevention. But securing the funds for rare cancer research is very tough, often demoralising for researchers and clinician-scientists. Three retinoblastoma researchers share their experience, and two organizations helping to drive Rb research forward invite you to help.

A group of people representing diverse ethnic backgrounds are sitting or standing around a table scattered with post-it notes. They are deep in conversation, and several are reaching out to move post-it notes into new positions on the table.

United Against Retinoblastoma: The Importance of Global Data and Collaboration

Understanding how retinoblastoma affects children is critical to improve diagnosis, treatment, support and outcomes for all.  Mattan Arazi, M.D and Ido Didi Fabian, M.D., MPH, world-focused ophthalmologists from Sheba Medical Centre, Israel, explore why global data and collaboration are so important in Rb research, and the knowledge, progress, and hope they are building for families and professional teams worldwide.

a baby chews an anaesthetic mask

Retinoblastoma Treatment at One Rb World

Prompt, appropriate medical care is vital for all children with retinoblastoma. A range of treatments are used depending on extent of the cancer, its risk of spread, and the child’s health and wellbeing. Sessions at every One Rb World explore aspects of medical care, and how we can ensure the best possible outcomes for each child. Below, we share sessions from the 2017, 2020, and 2021 meetings.

Dan Gombos presents on the challenges of obtaining effective care for the adult with distant history of Rb. The slide behind him is titled “When It’s Time For Change” and reads: Once cured – the team may change; Few transition to a survivorship clinic; Even less to a survivorship clinic with Rb experience; Some children are never told of their diagnosis; Children grow up, move, and may live very far from any Rb specialists.

Retinoblastoma Survivorship at One Rb World

Retinoblastoma is a complex cancer with potentially significant and serious lifelong impacts for the survivor and all family members. Sessions at every One Rb World explore the risks and challenges survivors and families encounter beyond childhood eye cancer, and how we can improve comprehensive survivorship care throughout life. Below, we share sessions from the 2017, 2020, and 2021 meetings.

An ethnically diverse group of people sit together around a table, moving puzzle pieces. The photo is taken from above, and only the hands of the participants are visible.

Multicentre Research Collaboration: the Challenge and the Light

Multicentre research is complex.  Challenges can arise in the process of bringing its  many benefits to patients, families and professionals. In part 2/2 of this article, Rb survivor and WE C Hope CEO, Abby White, explores common challenges, with solutions for each, and how our childhood cancer community encourages healthy, successful collaborations.

Drawing of a distressed looking woman in a blue shirt with one hand in front of her face and the other held up beside her head, fingers splayed. The background of cyan blue circles, swirls and clouds has a tangle of thin circles and stars surrounding her head, indicating that she is distressed or confused.

Beyond Stress: PTSD Symptoms, Resources, Strategies and More

Retinoblastoma is highly stressful for most patients and their families.  Too often, it is a traumatic life experience that has long term impacts on mental health.  Jules Verdugo, child life & pediatric psychosocial care student, looks at the difference between normal stress reactions and PTSD, symptoms, how to get help, resources, some strategies for managing symptoms, and post traumatic growth.

Dr. Skalet examines a child under anesthesia using an indirect ophthalmoscope. Published with permission.

Familial Retinoblastoma Screening: When Eye Cancer Runs in the Family

Familial retinoblastoma affects more than one member of the same family. Diagnosing children early provides the best opportunities for life and sight-saving care. Alison Skalet, ocular oncologist and director of the Rb service at Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, explores opportunities for early diagnosis when a parent, sibling or other relative has already been diagnosed.

10 different people’s arms reach inwards to clasp hands at the centre. They represent different races, and their sleeves are brightly coloured.

Multicentre Research Collaborations for Retinoblastoma

Retinoblastoma is a rare cancer, posing major challenges to researchers everywhere. In part 1/2 of this article, Rb survivor and WE C Hope CEO, Abby White, explores the many ways multicentre research collaboration can overcome these challenges and change patient care and outcomes – for the child, survivor, family and professional.

A woman sits alone on a bench under a sprawling weeping willow tree in a park. She is facing away from the camera.

Retinoblastoma Survivors’ Perspectives on Long-Term Follow up Care

Many retinoblastoma survivors live with significant long term treatment impacts and second cancer risks. Yet most children, adult survivors and their families struggle to access appropriate ongoing care. Len Burns, a totally blind bilateral Rb survivor and licensed family therapist, highlights the most common survivor concerns, and potential ways to improve long term care and quality of life.

An African doctor looks on as another uses a handheld digital camera to visualise a child's eyes during an exam under anaesthesia.

Global Eyes: Connect, Communicate and Collaborate for Cure

Sharing knowledge and experience, and working together, are vital to build better retinoblastoma care. WE C Hope CEO, Abby White, highlights two key meetings on the horizon that will unite professionals, scientists, and parents and survivors who live with the impacts of childhood eye cancer, to advance care for all.