Treatment for Wilm's tumor may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. If the tumor has not spread to other organs, surgery may be all that is required. The surgical approach depends on the location of the tumor. Sometimes the entire kidney needs to be removed. In other cases, only a portion of the kidney may need to be removed. If chemotherapy is required, then it is usually administered after surgery.
Chemotherapy uses medications that either kill cancer cells directly, or interfere with their metabolism. Radiation therapy uses x-rays to directly kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy delivers a focused beam of radiation to the cancer cells, in order to limit damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
Treatment for Wilm's tumor may include:
- Surgery to remove Wilm's tumor:
- Usually requires removal of the kidney
- Chemotherapy for Wilm's tumor:
- Used in almost all cases
- Usually combined with surgery
- Vincristine (Oncovin)
- Dactinomycin (Cosmegen, actinomycin D)
- Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)
- Etoposide (Toposar, VP16)
- Carboplatin (Paraplatin)
- Doxorubicin (Adriamycin)
- Medications for nausea and vomiting:
- Aprepitant (Emend)
- Dolasetron (Anzemet)
- Granisetron (Kytril)
- Metoclopramide (Reglan)
- Ondansetron (Zofran)
- Palonosetron (Aloxi)
- Prochlorperazine (Compazine, Compro)
- Promethazine (Phenergan)
- Radiation therapy for Wilm's tumor:
- Used when the tumor has spread to other tissues
Nephroblastoma Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of Wilm's tumor.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having cancer again?
- Will my children have this condition?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Continue to Nephroblastoma Warning Signs
- Blakely ML, Shamberger RC, et al; National Wilms' Tumor Study Group. Outcome of children with cystic partially differentiated nephroblastoma treated with or without chemotherapy. J Pediatr Surg. 2003 Jun;38(6):897-900. 
- Kremens B, Gruhn B, Klingebiel T, et al. High-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue in children with nephroblastoma. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2002 Dec;30(12):893-8. 
- McLorie GA. Wilms' tumor (nephroblastoma). Curr Opin Urol. 2001 Nov;11(6):567-70. 
- Pritchard-Jones K, Kelsey A, et al; United Kingdom Children's Cancer Study Group; Wilm's Tumor Working Group. Older age is an adverse prognostic factor in stage I, favorable histology Wilms' tumor treated with vincristine monochemotherapy: a study by the United Kingdom Children's Cancer Study Group, Wilm's Tumor Working Group. J Clin Oncol. 2003 Sep 1;21(17):3269-75.