Pathological review of wilms tumor nephrectomy specimens and potential implications for nephron sparing surgery in wilms tumor

Nicholas G. Cost, Jessica D. Lubahn, Candace F. Granberg, Arthur I Sagalowsky, Jonathan E Wickiser, Patricio C. Gargollo, Linda A Baker, Vitaly Margulis, Dinesh Rakheja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: Nephron sparing surgery is accepted as standard of care for children with bilateral Wilms tumor or Wilms tumor in a solitary kidney and some study protocols allow nephron sparing surgery in select cases of unilateral Wilms tumor. With the increasing use of nephron sparing surgery in Wilms tumor, we reviewed pathological features from Wilms tumor radical nephrectomy specimens to determine the potential efficacy of a nephron sparing approach. Materials and Methods: Medical records of children undergoing pre-chemotherapy radical nephrectomy for unilateral Wilms tumor at our institution were reviewed. Ideal candidates for nephron sparing surgery were defined as those having a unifocal mass outside the renal hilum, sparing a third or more of the kidney, favorable histology, no signs of renal sinus or segmental vascular invasion, no metastatic lymph nodes or gross regional disease, and a distinct interface on pathological review between tumor and remaining parenchyma. Results: A total of 78 children at a median age of 3.2 years (range 0.3 to 16.2) underwent pre-chemotherapy radical nephrectomy for unilateral Wilms tumor. Median tumor diameter was 11 cm (range 2.5 to 22). Of these children 36 (46.2%) had tumors sparing a third or more of the kidney and 70 (89.7%) had unifocal tumors. There were 73 specimens (94.6%) that showed favorable histology, and 56 (71.8%) of the specimens had a distinct border between tumor and remaining parenchyma. In total, 19 (24.4%) of the patients reviewed met all of our strict pathological criteria as ideal partial nephrectomy candidates. Conclusions: In a post hoc analysis using strict pathological criteria and accepted surgical oncologic principles, as many as 1 in 4 children undergoing pre-chemotherapy surgery for nonmetastatic, unilateral Wilms tumor have post-resection pathological tumor characteristics favorable for nephron sparing surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1506-1510
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012



  • Wilms tumor
  • nephrectomy
  • pathology
  • pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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