Immunotherapy Treatment for Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

Immuno-oncology (or immunotherapy) and precision medicine are the newest developments in the treatment of advanced cancer.  Immuno-oncology helps to restore the body’s immune system and improves outcomes when administered alone or in combination with chemotherapy.

Immunotherapy is the use of medicines to stimulate a person’s own immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells more effectively. Certain types of immunotherapy can be used to treat renal cell carcinoma.

Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to identify and attack cancer cells while doing little damage to normal cells.

Drugs that target tumor blood vessel growth (angiogenesis)

  • TKIs
  • Axitinib (Inlyta)
  • Bevacizumab (Avastin)
  •  Cabozantinib (Cabometyx)
  • Lenvatinib (Lenvima)
  • Pazopanib (Votrient)
  • Sorafenib (Nexavar)
  • Sunitinib (Sutent)
  • Tivozanib (Fotivda)


HIF Inhibitor

  • Belzutifan (Welireg)


Drugs that target the mTOR protein

  • Temsirolimus (Torisel)
  • Everolimus (Afinitor)


Immuno-oncology treatments for renal cell cancer help to restore the immune response against the cancer cells.

PD-1 inhibitors

  • Pembrolizumab (Keytruda)
  • Nivolumab (Opdivo)
  • Avelumab (Bavencio)


CTLA-4 inhibitors

  • Ipilimumab (Yervoy)



  • Interferon-alfa
  • Interleukin-2 (IL-2)


In an attempt to improve the chance of cure, immunotherapies and chemotherapy are being tested alone or in combination with chemotherapy in clinical trials.