Although renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is relatively uncommon among children and adolescents, researchers have identified several predictive factors that might help to distinguish these tumors from other, more common renal malignancies. Distinguishing RCC from other renal malignancies could allow for the more appropriate treatment of this distinct tumor type, according to Brian Shuch, MD, of the department of urology at Yale University’s School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, and colleagues, who recently published their study’s results in Pediatric Blood & Cancer.1

Pediatric renal malignancies account for about 4% to 5% of all childhood malignancies, and include a wide variety of cancers such as RCC, Wilms tumor, malignant rhabdoid tumor, and sarcoma.

“The most common tumor that pediatric oncologists see is Wilms tumor, which has a very different treatment strategy than RCC,” Dr Shuch told Cancer Therapy Advisor.

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The management of Wilms tumor typically involves some combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, whereas for RCC, the primary treatment is surgery and, in some cases, even nephron-sparing surgery.

“As treatment strategies are different, it is important to keep in mind in which clinical scenarios the tumor is more likely to be RCC,” Dr Shuch said.

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To find out more about what distinguishes RCC from these other renal malignancies, Dr Shuch and colleagues analyzed data from the Surveillance Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database from patients aged 0 to 19 years who were diagnosed with a renal malignancy between 1973 and 2013. They compared different characteristics among the cancer types and created a nomogram to identify predictors of RCC.