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The North American Wilms Tumor Study

The North American Wilms Tumor Study

Wilms tumor is a type of cancer in the kidney that occurs in very young children. It is the most common kidney cancer in children and is the fourth most common childhood cancer in North America. While we know that genetic and environmental factors have a role in cancer development, there is still very little known about the causes of cancer in infants and children. Although cancer in children is rare, research on childhood cancer could have an impact on the years and quality of life of affected children.

The North American Wilms Tumor Study (NAWTS) is being conducted by the Children’s Oncology Group, the Mount Sinai Hospital, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a research institute of the World Health Organization. The overall purpose is to find possible causes, including genetic or environmental factors and medical conditions that may increase the risk of Wilms tumor and related conditions. We will achieve this by obtaining health and lifestyle information about children who have been diagnosed with Wilms tumor and their parents, and comparing this to information from children without cancer. A total of approximately 840 families will be included in this research from North America.

The North American Wilms Tumor Study is also part of a bigger vision, International Study of Embryonal Tumor (ISET), which is planned in 12 countries around the world including Europe (UK, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Serbia), North and South America (Canada, USA and Brazil), and Asia / Oceania (India, Japan and Australia). The study was announced in 2006a, and it was presented at the AACR conference in 2010b. The pilot study of ISET has been carried out in several countries. The North American Wilms Tumor Study is an important corner stone of this international initiative.

The North American Wilms Tumor Study is supported by 


Mount Sinai Hospital


a Hung and Birch, International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) Newsletter, December 2006
b Hung RJ, Birch J, Buffler P, Ribeiro K, Bencko V, Clavel J, Camargo B, Chu A, Fujimoto, Koifman S, Kurkure P, Merletti F, Milne L, Ognjanovic S, do Socorro Pombo M, Roeleveld N, Sakamoto N, Scelo G, Boffetta P, Brennan P. International Study of Embryonal Tumors. Proc. Amer. Assoc. Cancer Res. 1821, 2010, Washington DC.