Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma (Kidney)

Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

Patients with Stage 4 renal cell carcinoma have cancer that has spread from the kidney to other sites. Renal cell carcinoma, or kidney cancer, can grow where it started and invade nearby tissues. It can spread from the kidney into the large vein that drains the blood from the kidney (the renal vein). From there it can spread into a large vein that empties into the heart (the inferior vena cava). It can also grow from the kidney into the adrenal gland, which sits on top of the kidney. When it spreads, the lungs and bones are the most common sites, and occasionally the liver. (It’s still called renal cell carcinoma, even though it’s moved somewhere else.)

The following is an overview for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma. The information on this web-site is intended to help educate you about your treatment options and to create discussion to help in the decision-making process with your treatment team.

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common malignant neoplasm of the kidney, representing 90% of primary renal tumors and 3% of adult malignancies. It has an unpredictable clinical course, with metastases to unusual sites occurring months to many years after diagnosis and treatment. Metastatic RCC may also be the first clinical presentation.

Your cancer will ultimately influence the treatments that are right for your situation.  

Treatment may also include surgery, radiation, targeted therapy, or a combination of these treatment techniques. Multidisciplinary treatment, which uses two or more treatment types, is important for every cancer patient and will help in creating a care plan and goals for improving a chance of cure or prolonging survival. In some cases, participation in a clinical trial may provide additional optionsS