Treatment of embryonic tumors

Embryonic or embryonal tumors arise from degeneration of primitive tissue while the child is still embryonic and form malignant solid (i.e., solid) tumors. The most common peripheral embryonic tumors include neuroblastomas, nephroblastomas (also called Wilms tumors), germ cell tumors, hepatoblastomas, rhabdoid tumors, and retinoblastomas.

Neuroblastomas, for example, arise from degenerated immature nerve cells and are most commonly found along the spine or in the adrenal gland. With about seven percent of all cancers, they are the most common solid tumors in children outside the brain. 90 percent of affected children are younger than six years old, many of them still in infancy.

Nephroblastoma or Wilms tumor (named after the Heidelberg surgeon Max Wilms, who described the disease in detail around 1900) develops from precursor cells of kidney tissue and is often discovered by chance as a swelling in the abdomen by parents or during screening examinations.

In order to be able to translate the latest scientific findings on the molecular causes of neuroblastoma into targeted therapy concepts as quickly as possible, the physicians at KiTZ work hand in hand with the researchers at the Department for neuroblastoma genomics of the DKFZ (PD Dr. Frank Westermann).




Dr. Wolfgang Behnisch
Tel.: +49 6221 - 56 8381
E-mail: wolfgang.behnisch(at)