- How is retinoblastoma treated?
- Surgery for retinoblastoma (enucleation)
- Radiation therapy for retinoblastoma
- Laser therapy (photocoagulation) for retinoblastoma
- Cryotherapy for retinoblastoma
- Thermotherapy for retinoblastoma
- Chemotherapy for retinoblastoma
- High-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant for retinoblastoma
- Clinical trials for retinoblastoma
- Complementary and alternative therapies for retinoblastoma
- Treatment of retinoblastoma based on extent of the disease
- More treatment information for retinoblastoma
Thermotherapy for retinoblastoma
For thermotherapy, the doctor uses a different type of laser to apply heat to tumor. The temperatures are not quite as high as those used in photocoagulation therapy, so some of the blood vessels on the retina may be spared.
Thermotherapy may be used alone for very small tumors. For larger tumors, it may be used along with chemotherapy (called thermochemotherapy) or with radiation therapy (called thermoradiotherapy). Heat seems to help these other treatments work better.
The treatment is similar to standard laser therapy. It is given while the child is asleep, usually for less than 10 minutes at a time. Typically, 3 treatments are given, about a month apart. When used as part of thermochemotherapy, the heat is usually applied at a lower temperature over a slightly longer period of time, starting within a few hours after chemotherapy.
Possible side effects: Thermotherapy can sometimes cause part of the iris (the colored part of the eye) to shrink. Other possible effects include clouding of part of the eye lens or damage to the retina, which might affect vision.
Last Medical Review: 08/06/2012
Last Revised: 08/06/2012