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Cancer. 2014 Dec 1;120(23):3722-30. doi: 10.1002/cncr.28908. Epub 2014 Oct 27.

Breast cancer in female survivors of Wilms tumor: a report from the national Wilms tumor late effects study.

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Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.



The standard treatment of pulmonary metastases in patients with Wilms tumor (WT) includes 12-gray radiotherapy (RT) to the entire chest. To the authors' knowledge, the risk of breast cancer (BC) in a large cohort of female survivors of WT has not previously been reported.


A total of 2492 female participants in National Wilms Tumor Studies 1 through 4 (1969-1995) were followed from age 15 years through the middle of 2013 for incident BC. The median age at the time of last contact was 27.3 years. The authors calculated cumulative risk at age 40 years (CR40), hazard ratios (HR) by Cox regression, standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) relative to US population rates, and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs).


The numbers of survivors with invasive BC divided by the numbers at risk were 16 of 369 (CR40, 14.8% [95% CI, 8.7-24.5]) for women who received chest RT for metastatic WT, 10 of 894 (CR40, 3.1% [95% CI, 1.3-7.41]) for those who received only abdominal RT, and 2 of 1229 (CR40, 0.3% [95% CI, 0.0-2.3]) for those who received no RT. The SIRs for these 3 groups were 27.6 (95% CI, 16.1-44.2) based on 5010 person-years (PY) of follow-up, 6.0 (95% CI, 2.9-11.0) based on 13,185 PY of follow-up, and 2.2 (95% CI, 0.3-7.8) based on 13,560 PY of follow-up, respectively. The risk was high regardless of the use of chest RT among women diagnosed with WT at age ≥10 years, with 9 of 90 women developing BC (CR40, 13.5% [95% CI, 5.6-30.6]; SIR, 23.6 [95% CI, 10.8-44.8] [PY, 1463]).


Female survivors of WT who were treated with chest RT had a high risk of developing early BC, with nearly 15% developing invasive disease by age 40 years. Current guidelines that recommend screening only those survivors who received ≥20 Gy of RT to the chest might be reevaluated.


Wilms tumor; cancer survivorship; doxorubicin; radiotherapy; secondary malignant neoplasms

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