Retinoblastoma is the most common pediatric ocular tumor and accounts for 4% of all malignancies in patients under the age of 15. Although a 90% survival is achieved after treatment, a combination of early diagnosis and more effective therapies is needed to improve patients’ quality of life.
As part of their professional curriculum, students in the Doctor of Optometry program learn to conduct comprehensive pediatric eye exams and to assess for retinoblastoma. Optometry students from the Summer Fellowship Training Program at the Rosenberg School of Optometry (UIW) are participating in a collaborative research project with the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute that aims to investigate the molecular basis of retinoblastoma. Some results obtained from this collaboration have been presented at the annual meetings of the American Academy of Optometry and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.