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Treatment of Wilms Tumor

    Table 3. Overview of Wilms Tumor Standard Treatment by Stage continued...

    Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy following biopsy or second-look operation is dependent on the response to initial therapy, with more aggressive therapy required for patients with inadequate response to initial therapy observed at the second procedure or in the setting of anaplasia.[3,17,18,19,20,21,22]

    Renal transplantation for children with Wilms tumor is usually delayed until 1 to 2 years have passed without evidence of malignancy.[23] Similarly, renal transplantation for children with Denys-Drash syndrome and Wilms tumor, all of whom require bilateral nephrectomy, is generally delayed 1 to 2 years after completion of treatment for the tumor.[23]

    Inoperable Wilms tumors

    In North America, standard therapy for Wilms tumor is primary nephrectomy and lymph node sampling followed by adjuvant chemotherapy. However, certain clinical presentations of Wilms tumor are referred to as inoperable Wilms tumor and include the following:

    • Metachronous bilateral Wilms tumor.
    • Wilms tumor in a solitary kidney.
    • Extension of tumor thrombus above the level of the hepatic veins.
    • Tumor involves contiguous structures whereby the only means of removing the kidney tumor requires removal of the other structures (e.g., spleen, pancreas, colon but excluding the adrenal gland).
    • Pulmonary compromise due to extensive pulmonary metastases.
    • Retroperitoneal rupture with free fluid contained by Gerota fascia.

    Neoadjuvant chemotherapy consisting of vincristine, dactinomycin, and doxorubicin followed by resection and radiation therapy is the usual treatment for inoperable Wilms tumor. In the case of bilateral Wilms tumor or occurrence in a solitary kidney, the purpose of chemotherapy prior to surgery is to reduce the size of the tumor and allow preservation of maximal renal parenchyma at resection. In the case of extensive vena caval infiltration, initial chemotherapy also results in tumor shrinkage and minimizes the complications associated with subsequent resection and avoids the use of cardiopulmonary bypass.

    Adults with Wilms tumor

    In an analysis of Wilms tumor patients in the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database, adults (n = 152) had a statistically worse OS (69% vs. 88%, P < .001) than pediatric patients (n = 2,190). Adults diagnosed with Wilms tumor were more likely than pediatric patients to be staged as having localized disease, to not receive any lymph node sampling, and to not receive any radiation treatment. The investigators recommended that all adult patients diagnosed with Wilms tumor should undergo lymph node sampling and that there should be close collaboration with pediatric surgeons and oncologists in treatment planning.[24]


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