Molecular Biology of Retinoblastoma

Part of the Essentials in Ophthalmology book series (ESSENTIALS)


The molecular biology of retinoblastoma has led to a revolution in our understanding of cancer biology. This chapter reviews the discovery and subsequent elucidation of RB1, the first tumor suppressor gene, and its protein product, Rb. The Rb pathway plays a key regulatory role in gene transcription, cell cycle regulation, cellular differentiation, apoptosis, and the maintenance of chromosomal stability. This critical tumor suppressor pathway is disrupted in the vast majority of human cancers; thus retinoblastoma has had a far-reaching impact on cancer research that far exceeds its clinical prevalence. New discoveries will continue to emerge from the study of retinoblastoma and the Rb pathway, and these will likely play an important role in the continued search for better cancer therapies.


Retinoblastoma Eye cancer Tumor suppressor gene Cell cycle Differentiation Apoptosis 


Compliance with Ethical Requirements

Conflict of Interest

Scott D. Walter, M.D., M.Sc. and J. William Harbour, M.D. declare that they have no conflict of interest.

No human or animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ocular Oncology ServiceBascom Palmer Eye InstituteMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer CenterMiller School of Medicine, University of MiamiMiamiUSA

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