Staging Systems for Retinoblastoma
Retinoblastoma is staged to predict how effective different treatments are to save the child’s life. Each eye is staged independently to indicate likelihood that a treatment can safely save the child’s eye, and achieve best vision. Cancer stage for a bilaterally affected child is based on the worst affected eye, as an indicator of risk to the child’s life.
Any feature of a higher stage determines the eye stage. This reduces risk of eye loss or life threatening relapse due to under-staging.
When clinical exam and imaging results suggest that retinoblastoma is contained in the eye, it is staged as “intraocular retinoblastoma”. When results indicate that cancer has escaped the eye, it is referred to as “extraocular retinoblastoma”.
Several different systems are used to stage retinoblastoma. The three most common are discussed below.