Prognostic significance of histopathological response to preoperative chemotherapy in unilateral Wilms' tumor: An analysis of 899 patients treated on the SIOP WT 2001 protocol in the UK-CCLG and GPOH studies

Int J Cancer. 2021 Sep 15;149(6):1332-1340. doi: 10.1002/ijc.33707. Epub 2021 Jun 22.


In the SIOP Wilms' tumor (WT) studies, preoperative chemotherapy is used as primary treatment, and tumors are classified thereafter by pathologists. Completely necrotic WTs (CN-WTs) are classified as low-risk tumors. The aim of the study was to evaluate whether a subset of regressive type WTs (RT-WTs) (67%-99% chemotherapy-induced changes [CIC]) showing an exceptionally good response to preoperative chemotherapy had comparably excellent survivals as CN-WTs, and to establish a cut-off point of CIC that could define this subset. The study included 2117 patients with unilateral, nonanaplastic WTs from the UK-CCLG and GPOH-WT studies (2001-2020) treated according to the SIOP-WT-2001 protocol. There were 126 patients with CN-WTs and 773 with RT-WTs, stages I-IV. RT-WTs were subdivided into subtotally necrotic WTs (>95% CIC) (STN-WT96-99) (124 patients) and the remaining of RT-WT (RR-WT67-95) (649 patients). The 5-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) for CN-WTs were 95.3% (±2.1% SE) and 97.3% (±1.5% SE), and for RT-WTs 85.7% (±1.14% SE, P < .01) and 95.2% (±0.01% SE, P = .59), respectively. CN-WT and STN-WT96-99 groups showed significantly better EFS than RR-WT67-95 (P = .003 and P = .02, respectively), which remained significantly superior when adjusted for age, local stage and metastasis at diagnosis, in multivariate analysis, whereas OS were superimposable (97.3 ± 1.5% SE for CN-WT; 97.8 ± 1.5% SE for STN-WT96-99; 94.7 ± 1.0% SE for RR-WT67-95). Patients with STN-WT96-99 share the same excellent EFS and OS as patients with CN-WTs, and although this was achieved by more treatment for patients with STN-WT96-99 than for patients with CN-WT, reduction in postoperative treatment of these patients may be justified.

Keywords: Wilms' tumor; preoperative chemotherapy; prognosis; response.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kidney Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Preoperative Period
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United Kingdom
  • Wilms Tumor / drug therapy*
  • Wilms Tumor / pathology*