Treatments for Wilms tumour

If your child has Wilms tumour, the healthcare team will create a treatment plan just for your child. It will be based on your child’s health and specific information about the cancer. When deciding which treatments to offer for Wilms tumour, the healthcare team will consider:

  • the type of Wilms tumour (favourable or anaplastic histology)
  • the stage of Wilms tumour
  • your child’s age
  • your child’s overall health
  • chromosome changes

There are two major approaches to treatment of Wilms tumour. In North America, most children are treated according to the National Wilms Tumor Study (NWTS) and Children’s Oncology Group (COG) protocols. This is the approach used in Canada. In Europe and other parts of the world, most children are treated according to the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) protocols. The main difference in these protocols is that the NWTS and COG usually recommend removal or biopsy of the kidney tumour first, while the SIOP usually recommends chemotherapy first based on imaging.

Expert review and references

  • American Cancer Society. Treating Wilms Tumour. 2016.
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology. Wilms Tumor - Childhood. 2016.
  • Wilms' tumour (kidney cancer in childhood). Cancer Research UK. CancerHelp UK. Cancer Research UK; 2012.
  • Children's & Women's Health Centre of British Columbia . Kidney. British Columbia Children's Hospital - Oncology, Hematology and BMT. Children's & Women's Health Centre of British Columbia; 2003.
  • Children's Hospital Boston . Wilms tumor. Children's Hospital Boston - My Child Has.... Boston, MA: Children's Hospital Boston; 2007.
  • Duffey-Lind, E . Tumours of the kidney. Kline, N. E. (Ed.). Essentials of Pediatric Oncology Nursing: A Core Curriculum. 2nd ed. Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses; 2004: 2.10:46-49.
  • Fernandez CV, Geller JI, Ehrlich PF et al . Renal Tumors. Pizzo PA & Poplack DG (eds.). Principles and Practice of Pediatric Oncology. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer; 2016: 29:753-768.
  • Hendershot E . Renal tumours. Tomlinson, D. & Kline, N. E. Pediatric Oncology Nursing: Advanced Clinical Handbook. Germany: Springer; 2005: 2.7: 57-61.
  • Wilms tumor. Janes-Hodder, H. & Keene, N. Childhood Cancer - A Parent's Guide to Solid Tumor Cancers. 2nd ed. O'Reilly; 2002: 9:137-149.
  • Macmillan Cancer Support. Wilms Tumour in Children. 2016.
  • National Cancer Institute. Wilms Tumor and Other Childhood Kidney Tumors Treatment (PDQ®) Patient Version. 2017.
  • National Cancer Institute. Wilms Tumor and Other Childhood Kidney Tumors Treatment (PDQ®) Health Professional Version. 2017.
  • Wilms tumor in children. National Childhood Cancer Foundation & Children's Oncology Group. CureSearch. Bethesda, MD: 2011.
  • Paulino, Arnold C. Medscape Reference: Wilms Tumor Treatment and Management. 2016: http://emedicine.medscape.com/.
  • Wilms' Tumor: The Basics. University of Pennsylvania. OncoLink. Reviewed ed. University of Pennsylvania; 2008.

Treatments for stage 1 Wilms tumour

Surgery is the primary treatment for stage I Wilms tumour. Learn about treatments, including surgery and chemotherapy, for stage I Wilms tumour.

Treatments for stage 2 Wilms tumour

Surgery is the primary treatment for stage II Wilms tumour. Learn about treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Treatments for stage 3 Wilms tumour

Surgery is the primary treatment for stage III Wilms tumour. Learn about treatments, including surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Treatments for stage 4 Wilms tumour

Stage IV Wilms tumour is treated with a combination of therapies, including surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Learn about treatment options.

Treatments for stage 5 Wilms tumour

Stage V Wilms tumour is treated with a combination of therapies, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Learn about treatment options.

Treatments for recurrent Wilms tumour

Treatment of recurrent Wilms tumour is based on the level of risk, including where the cancer recurs and past treatment. Learn about treatment options.

Surgery for Wilms tumour

Surgery is the primary treatment for Wilms tumour. Learn about radical nephrectomy, partial nephrectomy and surgery for metastases.

Chemotherapy for Wilms tumour

Chemotherapy is commonly used to treat Wilms tumour. Learn how and when chemotherapy is used and what chemotherapy drugs and combinations are used.

Radiation therapy for Wilms tumour

Radiation therapy may be used to treat Wilms tumour. Learn about radiation therapy, when it is used, how it is given, 3D-CRT and IMRT.

Follow-up after treatment for Wilms tumour

Follow-up after Wilms tumour treatment varies. Learn about scheduled follow-up appointments and the procedures and tests that may be done.

Late effects of treatments for Wilms tumour

Adjusting to life after treatment is different for each child. Learn how to cope with the late side effects of treatment for Wilms tumour.