The Ocular Oncology Department at SankaraNethralaya is a highly specialized and niche facilityoffering expert care in the treatment various cancerous tumours of the eye and surrounding structures. The commonest tumour of the eye occurs in children and is called ‘Retinoblastoma’. At SankaraNethralaya we see roughly 80 – 100 new retinoblastoma cases every year. Hitherto, the only treatment available to prevent the tumour from spreadingwas removal of the eye, but now with newer technologies, the eye salvage rate has increased tremendously. The department has advance facilities and expertise in treatment modalities required for eye salvage including Transpupillary Thermo Therapy, Cryo Therapy, Laser Photocoagulation, Brachytherapy, Local Radiotherapy and Systemic and Local Chemotherapy. The department also has facilities to give in-house chemotherapy. Patients requiring and willing to undergo intra-arterial chemotherapy are referred to Apollo Specialty Hospital.
The second most common intra-ocular tumourtreated at the department is Choroidal Melanoma which largely occurs among adults;again the departmenthas advance facilities and expertise in procedures such as Transpupillary Thermo Therapy, Brachytherapy, LocalTumour Resection in the form of Eye Wall Resection for effectively treating this condition. Complex vitreoretinal problems that are associated with some of the other intraocular tumours such as choroidalhemangioma and Von HippelLindauare managed effectively with the aid of topical expertise from theinstitution’s Vitreoretinal department. The department is also well supported by an excellent ocular pathology laboratory with two full time ocular pathologists who are involved not only in routine processing of specimen but in advanced research into the causation of this disease. In fact research in the management of retinoblastoma has brought the department into direct interaction with Nano-scientists, molecular biologists, gene therapists etc.The Ocular Oncology department isengaged in close interaction and collaborative treatment initiatives with the Ocular Surface Clinic for the management of tumours of the surface of the eye and with the Oculoplasty Department for management of orbital tumours. The department also carries out specialized gene testing for patients with retinoblastoma.