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The survivors of heritable retinoblastoma have a very high risk of developing non-ocular tumours in later life. A cohort study in Great Britain (British Journal of Ophthalmology 2009;93: 1159–62) has included 1927 cases of retinoblastoma diagnosed between 1951 and 2004. Among these cases, 809 were considered to have the heritable form and 1118 the non-heritable. A non-ocular tumour developed in 102 (12.6%) and 13 (1.2%) of the heritable and nonheritable cases respectively. The cumulative risk for heritable cases was 10% after 25 years and 48% after 50 years. For non-heritable cases the corresponding ?gures were 0.7% and 5%. Among the 102 people with heritable retinoblastoma who developed non-ocular tumors there were 108 such tumours: 36 soft tissue sarcomas, 32 osteosarcomas, 13 carcinomas, 10 tumours of brain and central nervous system, 9 melanomas, 4 leukaemias, and 4 others.

Antipyretic drugs have been given to children at the time of routine vaccination in order to reduce the risk of a febrile reaction. Now a multicentre study in the Czech Republic (Lancet 2009;374:1339–50; see also Comment, ibid: 1305-6) has shown that paracetamol (acetaminophen) might interfere with …

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