Treatment Outcome of Children with Retinoblastoma in a Tertiary Care Referral Hospital in Indonesia

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Emma’s Children’s Hospital, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit, Cancer Center Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

2 Pediatrics, Faculty Medicine, Public Health and Nursing, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Dr Sardjito Hospital, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

3 Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology, Utrecht, the Netherlands.


Background: Although survival rates for retinoblastoma (RB) are over 95% in high-income countries, its high mortality rate in low and middle-income countries remains a great concern. Few studies investigated treatment outcome and factors contributing to RB survival in these latter settings. Aims of this study are to determine treatment outcome of Indonesian children diagnosed with RB and to explore factors predictive of treatment outcome. Methods: This study was a retrospective medical records review combined with an illustrative case report. Children newly diagnosed with RB between January 2011 and December 2016 at a tertiary care referral hospital in Indonesia were included. A home visit was conducted to perform an in-depth interview with a mother of two children affected by RB. Results: Of all 61 children with RB, 39% abandoned treatment, 21% died, 20% had progressive or relapsed disease and 20% event-free survival. Progressive or relapsed disease was more common in older (≥ 2 years at diagnosis, 29%) than young (<2 years at diagnosis, 0%) children (P=0.012). Event-free survival estimate at 5 years was higher in young (42%) than older (6%) children (P=0.045). Odds-ratio for event-free survival was 6.9 (95% CI: 1.747 – 27.328, P=0.006) for young versus older children. Other clinical and socio-demographic characteristics had no significant correlation with treatment outcome or event-free survival. The case report elucidated conditions and obstacles that Indonesian families face when their children are diagnosed with RB. Conclusion: Survival of children with RB in Indonesia is much lower compared to high-income and many other low and middle-income countries. Abandonment of treatment is the most common cause of treatment failure. Older age at diagnosis is associated with more progressive or relapsed disease and worse survival. Interventions to improve general public and health-care providers’ awareness, early detection and treatment adherence are required.


Main Subjects

Volume 22, Issue 5
May 2021
Pages 1613-1621
  • Receive Date: 15 February 2021
  • Revise Date: 28 April 2021
  • Accept Date: 23 May 2021
  • First Publish Date: 23 May 2021