Treatment of Wilms tumor relapsing after initial treatment with vincristine and actinomycin D: a report from the National Wilms Tumor Study Group

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2007 May;48(5):493-9. doi: 10.1002/pbc.20822.


Purpose: NWTS-5 was a multi-institutional clinical trial for patients less than 16 years of age at diagnosis with specific renal neoplasms who were diagnosed between August 1, 1995 and May 31, 2002. A uniform approach to the treatment of patients with relapse was employed.

Patients and methods: Seventy-two patients who relapsed after immediate nephrectomy (stages I and II), initial chemotherapy with vincristine (VCR) and actinomycin D and no radiation therapy were registered on stratum B of the NWTS-5 relapse protocol. Four patients were not evaluable: one due to insufficient data and three due to major protocol violations. Among the 68 remaining patients, one who was 19 years of age at initial diagnosis of Wilms tumor, five with bilateral Wilms tumor at diagnosis, three who developed a contralateral relapse, and one with persistent disease were not included in this analysis. Relapse treatment included surgical excision, when feasible, radiation therapy and alternating courses of VCR, doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide and etoposide and cyclophosphamide.

Results: The outcomes of 58 patients were analyzed. The lung was the only site of relapse for 31 patients. Event-free survival 4 years after relapse was 71.1% and 4-year overall survival was 81.8% for all patients and were 67.8 and 81.0% for those who relapsed only to their lungs. The most frequent toxicities were hematological.

Conclusions: These results demonstrate that a significant proportion of children with Wilms tumor who relapse after initial treatment with VCR and actinomycin D can be successfully re-treated.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / administration & dosage*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dactinomycin / administration & dosage*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kidney Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Male
  • Nephrectomy
  • Recurrence
  • Survival Rate
  • Vincristine / administration & dosage*
  • Wilms Tumor / drug therapy*
  • Wilms Tumor / mortality


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Dactinomycin
  • Vincristine