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J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2002 Mar-Apr;24(3):192-8.

Improved survival for patients with recurrent Wilms tumor: the experience at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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Department of Hematology-Oncology St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105-2794, USA.



Reported estimates of survival for patients with recurrent Wilms tumor are 24% to 43%. Because published survival data are more than a decade old and do not reflect advances in therapy, the authors reviewed their experience in treating recurrent Wilms tumor to determine whether the probability of survival has increased.


The authors reviewed the cases of 54 patients with recurrent Wilms tumor who were treated on one of six consecutive clinical trials at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital between 1969 and 2000.


Five-year overall survival estimates after relapse were 63.6 +/- 15.7% for patients treated during or after 1984 (n = 20) and 20.6 +/- 6.5% for patients treated before 1984 (n = 34) (P = 0.002). When the analysis was restricted to patients with high-risk clinical features, 5-year overall survival estimates were 47.6 +/- 15.7% for those treated in the modern era (n = 16) and 11.1 +/- 5.2% for those treated in the earlier era (n = 25) (P = 0.005). Only three patients received high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue; one survived. No patients with recurrent anaplastic histology disease survived.


Significant progress has been achieved in the treatment of recurrent favorable-histology Wilms tumor using multimodality salvage regimens with conventional doses of chemotherapy. Novel therapeutic strategies will be necessary to cure patients with recurrent anaplastic Wilms tumor.

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