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Cancer Res. 1994 Sep 1;54(17):4680-3.

Increased birth weights of National Wilms' Tumor Study patients suggest a growth factor excess.

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98103.


An analysis of over 1800 patients with Wilms' tumor revealed significantly higher birth weights than newborns in the general United States population. The highest birth weights were found not only in patients diagnosed with the Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (mean, 3.78 kg), as had been expected, but also in those with hemihypertrophy (3.80 kg) or perilobar nephrogenic rests (3.56 kg) in addition to their Wilms' tumor. The birth weights of Wilms' tumor patients with intralobar nephrogenic rests (3.43 on average kg) and of those without associated anomalies (3.45 kg) were slightly but still significantly higher on average than national birthweights (overall mean, 3.35 kg) adjusted for gender, race, and year of birth in each subgroup. Birth weights of children with aniridia and Wilms' tumor (2.99 kg) were lower than the national mean. Among more than 3000 patients with Wilms' tumor, heights and weights at diagnosis were significantly higher for the subgroups of patients with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome or hemihypertrophy, and height was lower for those with aniridia or characteristic genitourinary anomalies, when compared to other patients with Wilms' tumor. These data suggest prenatal effects of growth factors on the development of Wilms' tumors, or vice versa, and provide further epidemiological support for heterogeneity in the pathogenesis of Wilms' tumors associated with perilobar nephrogenic rests versus intralobar nephrogenic rests.

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