Retinoblastoma in Children

Treatments for Retinoblastoma

Sheba Medical Center offers advanced, cutting-edge treatment for children with retinoblastoma. Our experienced, highly qualified oncologists and ophthalmologists will custom-tailor your child’s cancer therapies for optimal results. The goals of retinoblastoma treatment are to eradicate cancer and save the child’s life, save the eye if possible, preserve as much vision as possible, and limit any long-term effects that can be caused by cancer therapies.


Treatment options include:

Surgery (Enucleation):

Surgery is generally not needed for small retinoblastomas, but if the tumor has grown large before it is detected or after other treatments fail, there may already be irreversible vision damage. In this case, we may perform enucleation – surgery to remove the entire eye.


Laser therapy:

Different types of laser therapy may be used to treat small retinoblastoma tumors.



A laser beam is aimed through the pupil and focused on the blood vessels that nourish the tumor. The heat of the laser destroys these blood vessels.


Transpupillary thermal therapy (TTT):

Thermotherapy uses a different type of laser than photocoagulation to apply infrared light directly to the tumor. This laser heats and kills the tumor cells directly. TTT may be used alone for small tumors or along with chemotherapy or radiation to treat larger tumors.



A few methods of delivering anti-cancer chemotherapy drugs may be used to treat retinoblastoma.

  • Systemic chemotherapy involves taking oral chemo drugs or having them injected into a vein.
  • Intra-arterial chemotherapy is the method of injecting chemo drugs directly into the ophthalmic artery, which supplies blood to the eye.
  • Intravitreal chemotherapy is a newer approach that uses a needle to inject the chemo drugs directly into the vitreous humor (the gel that fills the eye).

Holistic Healing at Sheba

When our team designs each treatment program for children with retinoblastoma, we customize it to consider the individual’s unique condition and needs. We are dedicated to healing children in a way that helps them enjoy the fullest quality of life possible. Coping with cancer is difficult, and we offer a range of supportive services for the child and his or her family, including psychologists, social workers, nutritionists, and rehabilitation therapists. Treatment at Sheba is all-inclusive, with everything provided under one roof.

Stepan’s Story – How Sheba’s Doctors Defeated Retinoblastoma

Stepan and his twin sister Lera were born strong and healthy in October 2012. However, six weeks later, Stepan’s parents noticed that his pupil was transparent instead of black. They consulted with an ophthalmologist who referred the young infant for additional diagnostic testing. US scans diagnosed retinoblastoma in both eyes, but the local doctors did not schedule Stepan for any treatment.

As Stepan’s situation deteriorated, his parents decided to seek treatment abroad. Their research led them to the International Medical Tourism Division at Sheba Medical Center in Israel, where Dr. Victoria Vishnevskia-Dai and other specialists then treated Stepan over the course of the next year and three months. He underwent multiple procedures and therapies. Since January 2014, Stepan has been in remission.

His parents share, “While going through life’s trials and tribulations, we never once regretted our decision to choose Sheba Medical Center. Our little son is alive, healthy and can see this beautiful world with his saved left eye.”

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