Review Article| Volume 25, ISSUE 2, P379-392, June 2005

Metanephric Neoplasms: The Hyperdifferentiated, Benign End of the Wilms Tumor Spectrum?

      The term “metanephric” literally refers to the permanent kidney, and hence, is not per se, a proper specific descriptor of a renal neoplasm. Nonetheless, this term has been applied to a series of benign neoplasms that include a purely epithelial lesion (metanephric adenoma), a purely stromal lesion (metanephric stromal tumor), and a mixed stromal-epithelial lesion (metanephric adenofibroma). These lesions are all recognized in the 2004 World Health Organization renal tumor classification [
      ]. The nature of these neoplasms is not entirely clear, yet it seems most likely that they are related to Wilms tumor, the most common renal neoplasm of childhood, which commonly features variable degrees of stromal and epithelial differentiation [
      • Argani P.
      • Beckwith J.B.
      Renal neoplasms of childhood.
      ]. Metanephric tumors are conceived of most readily as representing the most hyperdifferentiated, mature form of Wilms tumor. Rare reported neoplasms have had features of malignant Wilms tumor and benign metanephric neoplasms, and such cases may explain the rare metanephric neoplasms that have been reported to metastasize.
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