By Health In Five Writer
A team headed by Dr Suyash Kulkarni, Head , Interventional Radiology, Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital For Children successfully performed its 1st ophthalmic artery chemotherapy procedure on a 6-month-old baby boy with eye cancer to save his eyes. Ophthalmic artery chemotherapy is a very specialized procedure done by intervention radiologist. In this procedure, anticancer drug is directly administered to the eye with tumor rather than into the veins , preventing systemic side-effects.
The parents were alarmed when they noticed that their 4 month old baby Tanish had a squint eye left from 4 months of age. The patient consulted a local doctor who referred the baby to Wadia Hospital.
Dr Sangeeta Mudaliar, Head of Hematology- oncology said, “Retinoblastoma is a rare type of eye cancer impacting babies and children, under 5 years of age. Signs of this cancer are a white glow in your child’s eye, a squint, a change in vision, no red eye in photographs, or a change in iris color. Usually, the disease presents as a white reflex in the eye. But in the case of this baby, squint was spotted by the parents and they immediately rushed the baby to the hospital. Eye examination under Anaesthesia was performed by Dr Himika Gupta, Ocular oncologist. Eye cancer or Retinoblastoma accounts for about 2% of all cancers in children.”
Dr Mudaliar added, “Eye cancer in kids, though rare, needs a lot of strategies for optimum treatment. To save the eyes of the baby, the hospital for the first time conducted a breakthrough Ophthalmic Artery chemotherapy procedure wherein the anti-cancer drug was directly administered to which eye with the tumor rather than into the veins where the chemotherapy circulates through the body. The chemotherapy given in retinoblastoma is usually well tolerated but this baby had many complications after the chemotherapy. Giving further chemotherapy to the baby will lead to side effects. So, it was decided to give him ophthalmic artery chemotherapy. 2 cycles of chemo therapy are planned for the baby. The procedure was done in OPD basis and baby is discharged home and doing well.”
“Though, retinoblastoma is uncommon, if picked up early, it can often be successfully treated. Retinoblastoma can have a genetic predisposition that is if there is a family history of retinoblastoma then the baby is also at a higher risk. We are happy that Wadia is the first trust-run hospital to do this procedure. This has paved the way for a very advanced form of chemotherapy, which is well-tolerated and avoids side effects. We strive to render the best services to needy paediatric patients and improve their quality of life. We believe in treating patients with care, and empathy,” said Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO of Wadia Hospital.
Ophthalmic artery chemotherapy is a very specialized procedure to be done in Cath Lab. In this procedure, the anticancer drug is directly administered to the eye with tumor rather than into the veins where the chemotherapy will circulate through the body and can cause side-effects. This is usually a preferred therapy when only 1 eye is involved and disease is localized but requires expertise, specialized setting and high cost.