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February 1966

Elevation of Erythropoietin Levels in Association With Wilms' Tumor

Author Affiliations


From the departments of pediatrics (Dr. Thurman), surgery, urology service (Dr. Grabstald), and pathology (Dr. Lieberman), Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases, New York, and the Department of Pediatrics, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Va.

Arch Intern Med. 1966;117(2):280-283. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.03870080124021

THE OCCURRENCE of polycythemia in association with various diseases has been frequently recorded. Renal malignancies, uterine myomata, hemangioblastomas and hepatic cell carcinomas have been the malignant tumors most frequently involved.1-4 Recent reports have also established the occurrence of polycythemia in association with undifferentiated carcinoma of the lung.5 Hematologic remission subsequent to treatment with surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy has been documented in some of these cases. This report presents observations of what we believe to be the first patient with Wilms' tumor to be associated with polycythemia. Plasma from this patient had an increased level of erythropoietin; metastatic nodules in the lung were homogenized and separated, and the supernatant fluid had erythropoietin activity.

Methods of Investigation  Presurgical and postsurgical erythropoietin levels were determined by bioassay in starved rats. Female Sprague-Dawley rats weighing approximately 200 gm each were starved for 96 hours. Thirty and 54 hours after starvation was instituted,

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