Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on paediatric renal tumour presentation and management, a SIOP renal tumour study group study

Prakriti Roy, Sophie E van Peer, Rana Dandis, Catriona Duncan, Joaquim Caetano de Aguirre-Neto, Arnauld Verschuur, Beatriz de Camargo, Henrike E Karim-Kos, Luna Boschetti, Filippo Spreafico, Gema L Ramirez-Villar, Norbert Graf, Harm van Tinteren, Kathy Pritchard-Jones, Marry M van den Heuvel-Eibrink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic had global catastrophic effects on the management of non-communicable diseases including paediatric cancers. Restrictions during the start of 2020 complicated timely referrals of patients to specialized centres. We aimed to evaluate the pandemic's impact on the number of new diagnoses, disease characteristics and management delay for paediatric renal tumour patients included in the SIOP-RTSG-UMBRELLA study, as compared with data from a historical SIOP-RTSG trial (2005-2009).

METHODS: The number of intensive care admissions, population mobility rates and national lockdown periods/restrictions were used as proxies of the pandemic's severity and impact on societies. Clinical and tumour data were extracted from the SIOP-RTSG-UMBRELLA study and from historical SIOP-RTSG trials.

RESULTS: During the first lockdown in Europe, the number of newly diagnosed patients decreased following restrictions and population immobilisation. Additionally, there was a higher proportion of advanced disease (37% vs. 17% before and after COVID-9, p < 0.001) and larger median tumour volume (559 cm3 vs. 328 and 434 cm3 before and after, p < 0.0001). Also in Brazil, the proportion of advanced disease was higher during the national decrease in mobilisation and start of restrictions (50% and 24% vs. 11% and 18% before and after, p < 0.01). Tumour volume in Brazil was also higher during the first months of COVID-19 (599 cm3 vs. 459 and 514 cm3 ), although not significant (p = 0.17). We did not observe any delays in referral time nor in time to start treatment, even though COVID-19 restrictions may have caused children to reach care later.

CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic briefly changed the tumour characteristics of children presenting with renal tumours. The longer-term impact on clinical outcomes will be kept under review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17098-17111
Number of pages14
JournalCancer Medicine
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Child
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Kidney Neoplasms/diagnosis
  • Radionuclide Imaging


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