Leukemia and Lymphoma

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is the most common cancer of childhood. This cancer, as well as other leukemias and lymphomas, can travel to the eye when a patient has active disease. There are many different forms of both leukemia and lymphoma and they affect the eyes in different ways.

In adults, vitreoretinal lymphoma (sometimes previously referred to as primary intraocular lymphoma or PIOL or primary CNS lymphoma or PCNSL) is a rare but important form of lymphoma affecting the eyes of adults. In this disease patients can present with floaters or chronic inflammation in the vitreous jelly of the eye which can be confused for other non-cancerous causes, sometimes for months or years. Typically a definitive diagnosis can be made with vitrectomy surgery. Once the diagnosis is made, treatment can include:

  • Vitrectomy
  • Injections in the eye of chemotherapy or immune modulating medications (methotrexate, rituximab)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation