Three hundred and eighty one children with Wilms' tumour were treated on the United Kingdom Children's Cancer Study Group WT1 Study (1980/6). Seventy one patients relapsed during or after treatment, which included surgery and chemotherapy, with irradiation depending on stage and histology. Despite treatment with various combinations of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy there were only 17 survivors. For unfavourable histology, any stage, only two of 20 survive. We conclude that, after relapse, even for patients who have had localised disease and favourable histology, the 'salvage' rate is little more than 50% and for all others the likelihood of cure is very small. Three of 41 children who relapsed less than 12 months from diagnosis survive, compared with 14 of 30 who relapsed later. It is essential that even with this 'good prognosis' tumour initial treatment is optimal and given by centres experienced in management of children's cancer. Furthermore, there is a clear need for additional effective chemotherapeutic agents for relapsed patients.
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