Q & A Corner - Issue #30

NASET Q & A Corner

Questions and Answers on WAGR Syndrome


WAGR syndrome is a rare genetic condition that can affect both boys and girls. Babies born with WAGR syndrome often have eye problems, and are at high risk for developing certain types of cancer, and mental retardation. The term "WAGR" stands for the first letters of the physical and mental problems associated with the condition:

  • (W)ilms' Tumor, the most common form of kidney cancer in children.
  • (A)niridia, some or complete absence of the colored part of the eye, called the iris (singular), or irises/irides (plural).
  • (G)enitourinary problems, such as testicles that are not descended or hypospadias (abnormal location of the opening for urination) in boys, or genital or urinary problems inside the body in girls.
  • Mental (R)etardation.

Most people who have WAGR syndrome have two or more of these conditions. Also, people can have WAGR syndrome, but not have all of the above conditions. The focus of this issue of NASET Q & A Corner from the National Human Genome Institute of the NIH is to address frequently asked questions about WAGR Syndrome. 

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