Nephroblastoma (Wilms' Tumor) In Children

Table of contents:

Nephroblastoma (Wilms' Tumor) In Children
Nephroblastoma (Wilms' Tumor) In Children
Video: Nephroblastoma (Wilms' Tumor) In Children
Video: Wilms Tumor 2023, February

Nephroblastoma in children

Nephroblastoma (Wilms' tumor) is a malignant solid tumor of the kidney. It accounts for almost six percent of all cancers in childhood and adolescence. The majority of those affected are between one and five years old. Nephroblastomas grow rapidly. Metastases can mainly occur in lymph nodes in the vicinity of the kidney as well as in the lungs and liver. In rare cases, both kidneys are affected from the start.


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • What are the causes of a nephroblastoma?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • How is the diagnosis made?
  • How is nephroblastoma treated in children and adolescents?
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

What are the causes of a nephroblastoma?

Nephroblastomas are caused by a degeneration of tissue from the embryonic period. They can be composed of different types of cells, above all from precursor cells of kidney tissue, but also differently developed precursors of, for example, muscle, cartilage and epithelial tissue. The causes of the tumor development are still largely unexplained. Changes in certain genes and chromosomes are often involved. Nephroblastoma occurs more frequently than other tumor diseases in childhood together with other malformations and / or hereditary cancer syndromes.

What are the symptoms?

Nephroblastomas do not cause any symptoms at first. The affected children usually have a bulging "big" belly, which can be misunderstood as a sign of good nutrition. Less common complaints include:

  • Stomach ache,
  • bloody urine (hematuria),
  • Fever,
  • Indigestion (e.g. constipation),
  • Weight loss,
  • High blood pressure.

How is the diagnosis made?

If there is evidence of a nephroblastoma in the medical history or a physical examination, further examinations are carried out in a hospital specializing in cancer and blood diseases in children and adolescents, including:

  • Ultrasonic,
  • Computed Tomography,
  • Magnetic resonance imaging,
  • Possibly a biopsy.

How is nephroblastoma treated in children and adolescents?

In Europe, chemotherapy without a biopsy is started in children over young infancy and the existence of a kidney tumor with the clinical and imaging characteristics of Wilms' tumor in order to avoid the spread of tumor cells and to make an operation easier. In particularly young patients or if the clinical picture and imaging are doubtful, treatment can begin with an operation to remove the tumor and possibly also metastases. As a rule, the operation is followed by (further) chemotherapy. In addition, radiation may be required.


Overall, around 90 percent of all patients can be cured in the long term.

Whom can I ask?

The first point of contact is a doctor specializing in paediatrics.

How are the costs going to be covered?

The e-card is your personal key to the benefits of the statutory health insurance. All necessary and appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures are taken over by your responsible social insurance agency. A deductible or contribution to costs may apply for certain services. You can obtain detailed information from your social security agency. Further information can also be found at:

  • Right to treatment
  • Visit to the doctor: costs and deductibles
  • What does the hospital stay cost?
  • Prescription fee: This is how drug costs are covered
  • Medical aids & aids
  • Health Professions AZ
  • and via the online guide to reimbursement of social insurance costs. 

Popular by topic