Psychological, educational, and social late effects in adolescent survivors of Wilms tumor: A report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study

Psychooncology. 2021 Mar;30(3):349-360. doi: 10.1002/pon.5584. Epub 2020 Nov 9.


Objective: To delineate the impact of treatment exposures and chronic health conditions on psychological, educational, and social outcomes in adolescent survivors of Wilms tumor.

Methods: Parent reports from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study were analyzed for 666 adolescent survivors of Wilms tumor and 698 adolescent siblings. Adjusting for race and household income, survivors were compared to siblings on the Behavior Problems Index and educational outcomes. Multivariable modified Poisson regression estimated relative risks (RR) for therapeutic exposures and chronic health conditions (CTCAE 4.03 graded) among survivors, adjusting for sex, race, income, and age at diagnosis.

Results: Compared to siblings, adolescent survivors of Wilms tumor were more likely to take psychoactive medication (9.4% vs. 5.1%, p < 0.001) and utilize special education services (25.5% vs. 12.6%, p < 0.001) but did not differ significantly in emotional and behavioral problems. Survivors were less likely to be friendless (7.2% vs. 10.1%, p = 0.04) but were more likely to have difficulty getting along with friends (14.5% vs. 7.8%, p < 0.001). Among survivors, use of special education services was associated with abdomen plus chest radiation (RR = 1.98, CI:1.18-3.34). Those with grade 2-4 cardiovascular conditions had higher risk for anxiety/depression (RR = 1.95, CI:1.19-3.19), headstrong behaviors (RR = 1.91, CI:1.26-2.89), and inattention (RR = 1.56, CI:1.02-2.40).

Conclusions: Adolescent survivors of Wilms tumor were similar to siblings with respect to mental health concerns overall but were more likely to require special education. Monitoring of psychosocial and academic problems through adolescence is warranted, especially among those treated with radiation to the abdomen plus chest or with cardiac conditions.

Keywords: Wilms tumor; adolescent; childhood cancer; education; oncology; psycho-oncology; psychological; social.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cancer Survivors / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition
  • Depression / complications
  • Educational Status
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / therapy
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Siblings*
  • Stress, Psychological*
  • Wilms Tumor / psychology
  • Wilms Tumor / therapy