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This article is the author's final published version in Ophthalmology Science, Volume 3, Issue 3, 2023, Article number 100289.

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Copyright © 2023 by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( Published by Elsevier Inc.


PURPOSE: Retinoblastoma (RB) is most often diagnosed with clinical features and not diagnosed with tumor biopsy. This study describes tumor-derived analyte concentrations from aqueous humor (AH) liquid biopsy and its use in clinical assays.

DESIGN: Case series study.

PARTICIPANTS: Sixty-two RB eyes from 55 children and 14 control eyes from 12 children from 4 medical centers.

METHODS: This study included 128 RB AH samples including: diagnostic (DX) samples, samples from eyes undergoing treatment (TX), samples after completing treatment (END), and during bevacizumab injection for radiation therapy after completing RB treatment (BEV). Fourteen-control AH were analyzed for unprocessed analytes (double-stranded DNA [dsDNA], single-stranded DNA [ssDNA], micro-RNA [miRNA], RNA, and protein) with Qubit fluorescence assays. Double-stranded DNA from 2 RB AH samples underwent low-pass whole-genome sequencing to detect somatic copy number alterations. Logistic regression was used to predict disease burden given analyte concentrations.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Unprocessed analyte (dsDNA, ssDNA, miRNA, RNA and protein) concentrations.

RESULTS: Results revealed dsDNA, ssDNA, miRNA, and proteins, but not RNA, were quantifiable in most samples (up to 98%) with Qubit fluorescence assays. Median dsDNA concentration was significantly higher in DX (3.08 ng/μl) compared to TX (0.18 ng/μl;

CONCLUSIONS: Aqueous humor liquid biopsy in RB is a high-yield source of dsDNA, ssDNA, miRNA, and protein. Diagnostic samples are most useful for RB 1 gene mutational analyses. Genomic analysis may be more informative of tumor activity status than quantification alone and can be performed even with smaller analyte concentrations obtained from TX samples.

FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES: Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found after the references.

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