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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Cancer 1/2018

Comparison between intravenous chemotherapy and intra-arterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma: a meta-analysis

BMC Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2018
Qiuying Chen, Bin Zhang, Yuhao Dong, Xiaokai Mo, Lu Zhang, Wenhui Huang, Hua Jiang, Jiejun Xia, Shuixing Zhang
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12885-018-4406-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Intravenous chemotherapy (IVC) and intra-arterial chemotherapy (IAC) have become the primary treatments for retinoblastoma; however, some controversy remains over which method is more effective. We conducted a meta-analysis to compare the clinical efficacy of IVC and IAC.


We systematically searched literature published on PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library up to May 2017. Studies containing either IAC or IVC that reported on efficacy were included. The effects estimate was expressed as a pooled rate with 95% confidence interval (CI), using a fixed-effects or random-effects model.


Twenty-six studies were identified which included 1541 eyes (IAC: 11 trials, 445 eyes; IVC: 16 trials, 1096 eyes). The mean follow-up times were 49.4 months (range, 13.0–105.3 months) for IVC and 21.7 months (range, 8.8–38.7 months) for IAC. For the International Classification of Intraocular Retinoblastoma (ICRB) grading, the overall success rate was higher with IAC than with IVC (75.7% [95%CI: 65.7%–83.6%] vs. 69.5% [95%CI: 51.9%–82.8%], P < 0.001). The globe salvage with IAC was higher than with IVC in group D eyes (79.5% [95%CI: 71.8%–85.4%] vs. 55.1% [95%CI: 45.6%–64.2%], P < 0.001), but not in groups B (95.8% [95%CI: 57.5%–99.7%] vs. 82.5% [95%CI: 58.9%–94.0%], P = 0.163), C (91.3% [95%CI: 65.9%–98.3%] vs. 89.0% [95%CI: 69.0%–96.7%], P = 0.212), and E eyes (51.2% [95%CI: 37.0%–65.2%] vs. 43.2% [95%CI: 18.3%–72.1%], P = 0.578). IAC and IVC were not significantly different regarding the recurrence and metastasis rates (15.0% vs. 15.4%, P = 0.148 and 2.7% vs. 0.6%, P = 0.194, respectively). For Reese-Ellsworth (RE) grading, IAC had a higher globe salvage in groups IV (90.9% [95%CI: 56.0%–98.7%] vs. 66.3% [95%CI: 32.4%–89.0%], P = 0.047) and V eyes (83.2% [95%CI: 72.0%–90.5%] vs. 59.9% [95%CI: 43.1%–74.6%], P = 0.003), but not in group I-III eyes (88.6% [95%CI: 58.3%–97.7%] vs. 88.1% [95%CI: 76.6%–94.4%], P = 0.244). The overall success rate was higher in IAC than in IVC (87.1% [95%CI: 78.1%–92.7%] vs. 77.3% [95%CI: 68.1%–84.4%], P = 0.033).


IAC may be superior to IVC for the treatment of retinoblastoma, with a higher overall success rate and higher globe salvage in group D or groups IV and V eyes.
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