Norton Children’s Cancer Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, has opened the Norton Eye Cancer Program. The program is one of few in the country dedicated to treating rare eye cancers, such as retinoblastoma.
The program is led by Aparna Ramasubramanian, M.D., UofL Physicians – Pediatric Eye Specialists, and Aaron C. Spalding, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatric fellowship-trained radiation oncologist and medical director of Norton Cancer Institute Radiation Centers.
Dr. Ramasubramanian is one of the nation’s few physicians specializing in ocular oncology. She and her colleagues will focus on early detection and treatment of retinoblastoma.
“We are very fortunate to have a great team of experts to take care of these precious little children,” Dr. Ramasubramanian said.
‘White eye’ in photos can be a sign of retinoblastoma
A rare cancer in the eye, retinoblastoma affects the retina, which detects light and color. The disease often reveals itself as a white glow in the pupil that shows up in photographs. Eye drifting is another symptom. About 300 children each year are affected, and current treatment methods have increased the survival rate to more than 95 percent.
“We’re excited to launch this new program to treat patients who have this extremely rare cancer,” Dr. Spalding said.
Treatment options include targeting the tumor with chemotherapy combined with freezing or heating with a precise laser, and radiation treatment.