Patterns of lymph node sampling and the impact of lymph node density in favorable histology Wilms tumor: An analysis of the national cancer database

Publication Date


Journal Title

J Pediatr Urol


© 2017 Journal of Pediatric Urology Company Introduction: There is controversy about the role of lymph node (LN) sampling or dissection in the management of favorable histology (FH) Wilms tumor (WT), specifically how it performed and how it may impact survival. Objective: The objective of this study was to analyze factors affecting LN sampling patterns and the impact of LN yield and density (number of positive LNs/LNs examined) on overall survival (OS) in patients with advanced-stage favorable histology Wilms tumor (FHWT). Methods: The National Cancer Database (NCDB) was queried for patients with FHWT during 2004–2013. Demographic, clinical and OS data were abstracted for those who underwent surgical resection. Poisson regression was performed to analyze how factors influenced LN yield. Patients with positive LNs had LN density calculated and were further analyzed. Results: A total of 2340 patients met criteria, with a median age at diagnosis of 3 years (range 0–78 years). The median number of LNs examined was three (range 0–87). Lymph node yield was affected by age, race, insurance, tumor size, laterality, advanced stage, LN positivity, and institutional volume. A total of 390 (16.6%) patients had LN-positive disease. Median LN density for these LN-positive patients was 0.38 (range 0.02–1) (Summary Figure). Estimated 5-year OS was significantly improved for those with LN density ≤0.38 vs. >0.38 (94% vs. 84.6%, P = 0.012). In this population, on multivariate analysis, age and LN density were significant predictors of OS. Discussion: It is difficult to compile large numbers of cases in rare diseases like WT, and fortunately a large administrative database such as the NCDB can serve as a great resource. However, administrative data come with inherent limitations such as missing data and inability to account for a variety of factors that may influence LN yield and/or OS (specimen designation, pathologist experience, surgeon experience/volume, institutional Children's Oncology Group (COG) association, etc.). In this specific disease, the American Joint Committee on Cancer staging (captured by the NCDB) is different than the COG WT staging system that is used clinically, and the NCDB does not capture oncologic outcomes beyond OS. Conclusions: In a review of the NCDB, various factors associated with LN yield and observed LN density were identified to be significantly associated with OS in patients with LN-positive FHWT. This reinforces the need for adequate LN sampling at the time of WT surgery, to maximize surgical disease control. It was proposed that LN density as a metric may allow for improved risk-stratification, and possibly allow for therapeutic reduction in a sub-set of patients with low LN density.[Figure presented]

Volume Number


Issue Number



161.e1 - 161.e8

Document Type





School of Medicine

Primary Department


Additional Departments

General Pediatrics





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