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March 1967

Retinoblastoma: Past, Present, and Future

Arch Ophthalmol. 1967;77(3):293-294. doi:10.1001/archopht.1967.00980020295001

From 1805 when retinoblastoma was viewed as merely a bloody fungating lesion called "fungus hematodes" to 1864 when it was correctly identified as a neoplasm and given the pseudonym "glioma," the diagnosis was a simple choice between "amaurotic cat's eye" or scrofula. Then, with the advent of the ophthalmoscope and microscope (1850), the pace quickened so that the diagnostic choice lay between glioma and pseudoglioma. Over the years the pseudogliomas (or leukokorias) have been amplified to include many stimulating lesions such as Coats' disease, persistent hyperplastic vitreous, retrolental fibroplasia, retinal dysplasia, larval granuloma, etc. Now the correct diagnosis can be made in 93% of the eyes with clear media (G. Howard, MD, oral communication, November 1965).

The treatment of retinoblastoma has shown an exciting evolution. Even in the 19th century after retinoblastoma was finally recognized as cancer the value of early enucleation as a life-saving measure was seriously contested. Guthrie,

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