Wilms’ tumour: biology, diagnosis and treatment
Wilms’ tumour is the commonest renal tumour of childhood affecting one in 10,000 children. It is also one of the successes of paediatric oncology with long term survival above 90% for localised disease and 75% for metastatic disease. Successful management of Wilms’ tumour necessitates meticulous attention to correct staging of the tumour and a collaborative effort between paediatric oncologists, specialist surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, and radiation oncologists. Although current treatment protocols are based on risk assignment to minimise toxicity for low risk patients and improve outcomes for those with high risk disease, challenges remain in identifying novel molecular, histological and clinical risk factors for stratification of treatment intensity. Knowledge about Wilms’ tumour biology and treatment is evolving rapidly and remains a paradigm for multimodal malignancy treatment. Future efforts will focus on the use of biomarkers to improve risk stratification and the introduction of newer molecularly targeted therapies that will minimise toxicity and improve the outcomes for patients with unfavourable histology and recurrent disease. The aim of this article is to summarise advances in our understanding of the biology of Wilms’ tumour and to describe the current approaches to clinical management of patients.