Metastatic Kidney Cancer

Explore your treatment options for advanced renal cancer.

Kidney cancer that has spread elsewhere in your body -- known as metastatic kidney cancer – is more difficult to treat than kidney cancer that is still completely within the kidney. But you still have treatment options. We’re here to provide the tools and resources you need to beat metastatic kidney cancer.

Where does metastatic kidney cancer spread?

Kidney cancer usually spreads to the lungs, liver, lymph nodes, brain, or bones. But it can spread anywhere in your body.

How do I know where my kidney cancer has spread?

We can see where your kidney cancer has spread with one of our sophisticated imaging exams, such as:

Depending on your specific situation, we may need to perform multiple tests to get an accurate picture of where your cancer has spread.

What are my treatment options for metastatic kidney cancer?

We can use several medicines to help shrink kidney cancer tumors. You can take some of these medications in pill form. Others are injectable immunotherapy treatments.

In some cases, we may need to surgically remove the kidney where the cancer started.

Should I have my kidney removed if the cancer has already spread?

Patients with advanced kidney cancer that has spread may have some survival benefits if they have a cancerous kidney removed. But there is no definitive answer.

In many cases, it’s possible for us to remove your kidney with minimally invasive robotic kidney surgery. However, these cases may be complicated, since metastatic kidney cancer is more advanced.

The benefits of kidney removal in cases of metastatic kidney cancer depend on the particular case and how involved the surgery will be. Your doctor will discuss this and other options with you.

Are there any other treatment options available for metastatic kidney cancer?

We continue to investigate new treatments for metastatic kidney cancer. In 2015, interventional radiologist Scott Schwartz, M.D. was the first doctor in the world to perform a new procedure.

This procedure involved suctioning a kidney cancer tumor from a patient’s vena cava (a vein that carries blood into the heart). The patient then underwent minimally invasive kidney removal surgery and participated in a clinical trial. This clinical trial used genetic material from the patient’s tumor to produce a vaccine to fight the metastatic kidney cancer.

You can meet with medical oncologist Clara Hwang, M.D. to discuss additional options to treat your metastatic kidney cancer. These options may include clinical trials, advanced chemotherapy treatments, and more.

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