We aimed to evaluate the capacity to treat retinoblastoma in the Middle East, North Africa, and West Asia region.
A Web-based assessment that investigated retinoblastoma-related pediatric oncology and ophthalmology infrastructure and associated capacity at member institutions of the Pediatric Oncology East and Mediterranean group was distributed. Data were analyzed in terms of availability, location, and confidence of use for each resource needed for the management of retinoblastoma. Resources were categorized by diagnostics, focal therapy, chemotherapy, advanced treatment, and supportive care. Responding institutions were further divided into an asset-based tiered system.
In total, responses from 23 institutions were obtained. Fifteen institutions reported the availability of an ophthalmologist, 12 of which held primary off-site appointments. All institutions reported the availability of a pediatric oncologist and systemic chemotherapy A significant portion of available resources was located off site. Green laser was available on site at seven institutions, diode laser at six institutions, cryotherapy at 12 institutions, and brachytherapy at nine institutions. There existed marked disparity between the availability of some specific ophthalmic resources and oncologic resources.
The assessment revealed common themes related to the treatment of retinoblastoma in low- and- middle-income countries, including decentralization of care, limited resources, and lack of multidisciplinary care. Resource disparities warrant targeted intervention in the Middle East, North Africa, and West Asia region to advance the management of retinoblastoma in the region.