Bilateral Wilms tumor presents the clinician with a treatment dilemma. Since 1980 most centers of the United Kingdom Children's Cancer Study Group have used a conservative surgical approach with initial biopsy followed by chemotherapy and delayed surgical resection. We assess the outcome of this treatment approach in terms of survival, and preservation of renal mass and function.Materials and Methods
We retrospectively analyzed the records of 71 children with bilateral Wilms tumor diagnosed between 1980 to 1995 at 17 United Kingdom Children's Cancer Study Group centers. In 57 patients conservative surgical treatment with initial biopsy was followed by chemotherapy and delayed tumor resection, while 13 underwent initial surgical resection followed by chemotherapy. One patient was excluded from study because the lesion in 1 kidney proved to be a benign cyst. Mean followup was 6 years (range 1 to 15). The percentage of renal tissue involved with tumor and preserved was estimated, and renal function at the last followup was recorded.Results
Overall survival was 69% with similar survival in the conservatively treated and initial surgical resection groups. At the last followup renal function was normal in 80% of the patients in each group. Mean preserved renal mass was 45 and 35% in the conservatively treated and initial resection groups, respectively, with a trend toward better preservation in those treated conservatively. Bilateral Wilms tumor with an unfavorable histology was associated with a poor prognosis.Conclusions
Conservative surgical treatment of favorable histology bilateral Wilms tumor may improve the preservation of renal mass and function without impairing patient survival.