Retinoblastoma is the most common intraocular malignancy of childhood, occurring in approximately 1 in 15,000 live births with around 300 new cases of retinoblastoma in the United States annually. Thanks to early detection and advances in treatment, retinoblastoma has one of the highest cure rates of all pediatric cancers, over 90%.
This summer I did research in retinoblastoma at The Hamilton Eye Institute under direction of Dr. Barrett Haik, Chairman and Hamilton Professor, as well as St. Jude Children's Research Hospital with Dr. Matthew Wilson, St. Jude Chair of Pediatric Ophthalmology. Children with retinoblastoma come from all across the United States as well as internationally to be treated at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. This year, one of my research projects with Dr. Wilson was a retrospective study of the clinical features and outcomes in patients with retinoblastoma and associated deletions and microdeletions of the long arm of chromosome 13. Another study I worked on with Dr. Wilson was the outcomes of patients with retinoblastoma treated with iodine-125 episcleral plaque brachytherapy when utilized as a primary or secondary treatment.
I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such a talented group of physicians who are truly leaders in their field. The care given at St. Jude literally saves the lives of hundreds of children a year and it was an honor to help contribute to the knowledge of the treatment retinoblastoma.
William E. Gordon
The University of Tennessee