What is known?
Renal cancers are one of the most common types of childhood tumours worldwide, with the majority being nephroblastoma (or Wilms tumour). Most of the existing knowledge of childhood renal tumours comes from clinical trials for children who are treated under strict protocols.
What is new?
Data from the Australian Childhood Cancer Registry provides a supplementary perspective. Specifically, this study provides the first comprehensive, nation-wide summary of the occurrence and outcomes of renal malignancies in children in Australia. We found that incidence rates for Australian children with renal tumours have remained stable over the past three decades, with five-year survival steady at near to 90%. However, relapse and the occurrence of second primary malignancies remain problematic and are both associated with much poorer survival after diagnosis.
What does this mean?
Results for children in Australia are comparable to findings in similarly developed nations. The data are generally reassuring given that the introduction of modern treatment protocols, aimed at reducing the dose of chemotherapy, have seen no decreases in survival or increases in relapse over the study period. The possibility of decreased time to relapse in recent years is unexplained and requires further monitoring.
Contact: Danny Youlden
Reference: Jones BC, Youlden DR, Cundy TP, O’Callaghan ME, Karpelowsky J, Aitken JF, McBride CA. Renal tumours in Australian children: thirty years of incidence, outcome, and second primary malignancy data from the Australian Childhood Cancer Registry. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 2020; 56(6):908-916.