Diseases & Research

Wilms Tumor

The Hutchinson Center is advancing Wilms tumor treatment through important studies that track survivors' health. These efforts help researchers understand treatment's long-term side effects and could lead to new therapies that save children's lives.

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Fast Facts

  • Wilms tumor, also known as nephroblastoma, is a rare kidney cancer that usually occurs in young children. It is a fast-growing tumor that appears in embryonal kidney tissues that normally disappear before birth.
  • Wilms tumor occurs in about one in 10,000 children in the United States and accounts for about 7 percent of all childhood cancers, making it the second most common solid tumor in children.
  • More than 90 percent of patients survive Wilms, but some are at risk of developing long-term complications as a result of their tumors, treatments or other factors.
  • Several genetics alteration  play a role in the origin of some Wilms tumors but no environmental causes have been identified.

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Improving Survival

Studying Wilms tumor survivors  The Hutchinson Center is home to the statistical center for the National Wilms Tumor Study. The study researches late effects of radiation and chemotherapy. It has used clinical trials to reduce radiation treatment doses, improve survival rates, minimize side effects and make treatment less expensive. The statistical center houses the world’s largest collection of clinical information on Wilms tumor and tracks more than 6,000 survivors. Learn more »

Investigating childhood cancer survival  – The Hutchinson Center is also home to the national Childhood Cancer Survival Study’s Statistics and Data Center, which is tracking the long-tem effects of several forms of children’s cancer, including Wilms Tumor.

Identifying complications – Through the Hutchinson Center’s work with the National Wilms Tumor Study, researchers have documented: the long-term complications or “late effects” of chemotherapy and radiation treatment on skeletal and muscle development; the development of secondary tumors at relatively young ages; and poor pregnancy outcomes for female patients.

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