Markedly elevated levels of hyaluronic acid occur in the serum and urine of some patients with Wilms' tumor. We have recently described a glycoprotein factor in fetal serum that stimulates deposition of hyaluronic acid. In a survey of bovine fetal tissue extracts, we have identified the fetal kidney as the source of this circulating activity. Wilms' tumors arise from transformed "rests" of fetal kidney. We demonstrate here that such tumors continue to produce this fetal factor and that the hyaluronic acid-stimulating activity is found in the urine of children with Wilms' tumors. In the three patients with Wilms' tumor who were followed, elevated levels of hyaluronic acid-stimulating activity were found in their urine before treatment. By 2 months after surgical removal of their tumors, these levels had returned to baseline. We propose that hyaluronic acid-stimulating activity is the mechanism for the elevated levels of hyaluronic acid in the sera and urine of these patients. The activity is an oncofetal protein and the first for which a function has been identified. It also is a marker for this common childhood solid tumor and has the potential for identifying children at increased risk.
View details for Web of Science ID A1990CH50000010
View details for PubMedID 2152946