How long does Wilm’s tumour last?

By  , Expert Content
Dec 22, 2011

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Wilm’s tumour is a rare type of malignancy of the kidney, which occurs in children. The tumour usually occurs in children between the age group of 3 and 4 years and the incidence of this tumour decreases after age 5. In most cases, the tumour involves only kidney though both the kidneys can be affected at the same time by Wilm’s tumour (in about 5 percent of the children).

Expected Duration

Primary Wilm’s tumour:
If the cancer is not treated, it will continue to grow. Prognosis of Wilm’s tumour is generally very good if detected in the early stages and the histology is also favourable. According to studies, the cure rate of Wilm’s tumour is about 85 percent. The cure rate is affected by the stage and histology of the tumour. Relapse free 10 year survival rate of stage I cancer is about 91% and the 10 year overall survival rate is about 96%. Both the 10 year relapse free survival rates and the 10 year overall survival rate decreases as the cancer progresses.

Recurrent Wilm’s Tumour: According to studies, most recurrences occur in the first 2 years after primary diagnosis. Rate of recurrence of Wilm’s tumour is about 15-20% and it occurs more frequently within first 2-5 years following the primary diagnosis. Based on studies, the survival rate of recurrent cancer has been found to range from 24% to 43%. Recurrences after 5 years following the primary diagnosis are rare. Prognosis and treatment of recurrent Wilm’s tumour (tumour that comes back after treatment) is influenced by prior treatment and the cancer's histology (favourable or unfavourable). Prognosis of recurrent cancer is better if it has the following features:

  • Favourable histology.
  • Stage of I or II.
  • Initial chemotherapy regimen that included only vincristine and actinomycin D.
  • No radiation therapy for primary cancer.
  • Recurrence more than 12 months after the primary diagnosis.

Most recurrent cancer can be treated with surgery to remove the recurrent cancer (if possible), radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Your doctor will decide the treatment and will generally use chemotherapy drugs different from those used during the first treatment.



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