Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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Wilms Tumor - Childhood

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 4/2013
Latest Research

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done now to learn more about this type of tumor and how to treat it. To see other pages in this guide, use the colored boxes on the right side of your screen, or click “Next” at the bottom.

Doctors are working to learn more about Wilms tumor, ways to prevent it, how to best treat it, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with this disease. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk with your child’s doctor about the diagnostic and treatment options that are best for your family.

Bilateral Wilms tumors. The Children’s Oncology Group is studying how to treat bilateral Wilms tumors while preserving as much kidney function as possible.

Tumor markers. A tumor marker, also called a biomarker, is a substance found in a person's blood, urine, or body tissue. Doctors in the United Kingdom recently discovered that children with Wilms tumor who have a recurrence all have active genes on one area of a specific chromosome (the 1q area). Once the specific genes are identified, it is possible that new tests may be developed to predict which children are likely to have a recurrence.

Tumor genetics. A new Wilms tumor gene (WTX) has been identified on the X chromosome, and it plays a role in normal kidney development. This gene is not active in approximately one-third of children with Wilms tumor. Studies on the importance of this gene are ongoing.

New therapy combinations. Researchers are looking at whether patients with a favorable histology Wilms tumor who have metastases in the lungs need radiation therapy to the lungs if the lung tumors go away after six weeks of chemotherapy.

New treatment methods. Doctors are looking at the effect of using only surgery as a treatment for patients with a small stage I tumor. After surgery, the patients are monitored closely for a recurrence. 

Supportive care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current Wilms tumor treatments in order to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life.

Looking for More about the Latest Research?

If you would like additional information about the latest areas of research regarding Wilms tumor, explore these related items that will take you outside of this guide:

  • To find clinical trials specific to your diagnosis, talk with your child’s doctor or search online clinical trial databases now.
  • Visit ASCO’s CancerProgress.Net website to learn more about the historical pace of research for childhood cancer, called pediatric cancer on this website. Please note this link takes you to a separate ASCO website.

To continue reading this guide, choose “Next” (below, right) to see a section about coping with the side effects of the disease or its treatment. Or, use the colored boxes located on the right side of your screen to visit any section.

Last Updated: 
Tuesday, April 30, 2013

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