Wilms’ Tumours

  • H. B. Marsden
  • J. K. Steward
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research / Fortschritte der Krebsforschung / Progrès dans les recherches sur le cancer book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 13)


The Wilms’ tumour (nephroblastoma) was first described nearly a century ago by Eberth (1872). In a review of early literature on the subject Willis (1962) pointed out that there were many excellent descriptions of this neoplasm prior to the account by Wilms (1899). Eberth used the term “myoma sarcomatodes renum” and ever since then pathologists have been struck by the fact that this tumour contained elements (especially striped muscle) which were foreign to normal kidney. Wilms considered that this was due to the presence of mixed foci of myotome, nephrotome and sclerotome in the developing kidney. Other writers, notably Muus (1899) and Nicholson (1931) were unable to accept this view and the controversy is reviewed by Willis (1958). Although it is practically impossible to be certain of the cells of origin, the most reasonable explanation of the diversity of tissues is that advocated by Muus, Nicholson and Willis, who considered that the neoplasm was derived from embryonic cells capable of differentiating not only into renal elements but also into connective tissue and muscle.


Pulmonary Metastasis Renal Vein Striped Muscle Intravenous Pyelography Retrograde Pyelogram 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. B. Marsden
    • 1
  • J. K. Steward
    • 1
  1. 1.ManchesterUK

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