Our center has the advantage of being a large multidisciplinary program. We have many resources that are very helpful for children and families - everything from our nursing and psychosocial staff to our pathologists and radiologists.
Elizabeth Mullen, MD, director of the Boston Children's Hospital Kidney Tumors Program
If your child has been diagnosed with Wilms’ tumor, you are sure to have many questions and concerns. Learning the basics about the condition will help you to prepare for the journey ahead.
Wilm’s tumor is a cancerous tumor in the cells of the kidney. It most often starts in the kidneys but, in rare cases, it can occur in other parts of the body. If Wilms’ tumor spreads, it most often moves into the lungs. Fortunately, with the right treatment, Wilms’ tumor is often highly treatable.
It’s the most common type of renal (kidney) cancer and accounts for about 6 percent of all childhood cancers.
About 500 children in the United States are diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumor each year.
Wilm’s tumor can occur at any age between infancy and age 15, but usually is detected by the time a child is 3 years old. Adults rarely have Wilms’ tumor.
The tumor can be very large, and it may spread to other body tissues, most often the lungs.
With prompt and aggressive treatment, Wilms’ tumor is successfully treated in the majority of affected children with a combination of surgery, and/or chemotherapy and/or radiation.
- Most of our patients are treated in the Jimmy Fund Clinic as outpatients and experience relatively few side effects from treatment.
How Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center approaches Wilms’ tumor
If your child is cared for at Children’s, she’ll be seen through Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center, an integrated pediatric oncology program through Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital Boston that provides—in one specialized program—all the services of both a leading cancer center and a pediatric hospital.
Major advancements have occurred in the treatment of Wilm’s tumor over the last two decades, primarily because of studies by the National Wilms' Tumor Study Group, of which Boston Children's Hospital was a member. These studies have rigorously compared treatment regimens to determine the most effective and safest treatments. For example, one study showed that briefer courses of therapy are as effective as longer courses, and less harmful. Children’s Hospital is now an active member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG).
|Dana-Farber's David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic helps survivors of childhood cancer address the long-term effects of their therapy.|
Wilm's Tumor: Reviewed by Elizabeth Mullen, MD
@ Boston Children's Hospital, 2010