Kidney Cancer Treatment


Every person who comes to Memorial Sloan Kettering for kidney cancer treatment receives compassionate, personalized care from our disease management team.

Your team includes experts in surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and quality-of-life issues who focus only on cancer that develops in the kidneys. This team approach helps ensure that we choose the combination of therapies that will be most effective for you.

Our experts take into consideration your diagnosis information, such as what type of kidney tumor you have, the size of the tumor, where it’s located, how it’s grown or changed over time, how deep it is in your kidney, and whether it has metastasized (spread).

Surgery is often all that MSK doctors need to do to remove kidney tumors that haven’t spread. We offer various approaches to surgery, including minimally invasive techniques that often make recovery faster.

Using Ablation for Kidney Tumors

If you have small tumors and surgery is not the best approach for you, we may recommend image-guided ablation to destroy the cancer. This procedure uses needles that boil or freeze cancerous tissue. We place the needles through your skin and use x-rays to guide them into the tumor. Your body removes the dead tissue, leaving scar tissue in its place.

We can also use thermal ablation to help relive pain if kidney cancer has metastasized to the bone. The freezing needle numbs the pain.

Treatment Approaches for Advanced Kidney Cancer

For cancer that has spread metastasized beyond the kidneys, we may recommend chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or immunological therapy  — either alone or in combination.