Kidney Cancer Therapies

Kidney cancer may be treated in one of many different ways depending on the type of kidney cancer it is, the “stage” or level of progression of the tumor, and the age and general health of the patient.

There is an excellent discussion of this topic at the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, which includes surgical options and observation in addition to drug therapies.

Options begin with “Active Surveillance.” In some cases, especially when the cancer is small and slow-growing, the doctor may recommend that the patient be monitored closely and wait to start active treatment until there is evidence that the disease is worsening. This approach is called active surveillance, watchful waiting, or watch-and-wait.

In some cases it may be helpful to remove the primary tumor in order to reduce the bulk of the cancer.  There are many surgical options, including several less-invasive techniques that should be discussed.

There are also a number of targeted drug therapies already approved for use with kidney cancer to be considered.

In addition to the drugs already approved for use with one or more different types of kidney cancer, there are new drugs coming out all the time, or new combinations of existing drugs which may prove to be more effective than using one drug alone.

These new possibilities are often available as “clinical trials.”  We would encourage you to explore the clinical trials available.  Begin by talking with your doctor locally, but don’t stop there.  Contact a Center of Expertise, where there are physicians who deal more frequently with kidney cancer and may be more familiar with all the options available.

There are many misconceptions about clinical trials.  We have prepared a number of “Tweets” to help people understand the potential benefits of clinical trials.

See also how to find a clinical trial from the US National Institutes of Health:

Our sister site,, provides up to date information about the latest clinical trials involving Immuno-Oncology.