ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done now to learn more about this type of cancer and how to treat it. To see other pages in this guide, use the colored boxes on the right side of your screen, or click “Next” at the bottom.
Doctors are working to learn more about kidney cancer, ways to prevent it, how to best treat it, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with this disease. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials . Always talk with your doctor about the diagnostic and treatment options best for you.
Because most kidney cancers do not respond well to traditional chemotherapy, research for kidney cancer focuses on using new and different treatments, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.
Targeted therapy. Several recently discovered drugs that affect the process of blood vessel development and/or cancer cell growth are being tested as treatments for kidney cancer. The early results from these clinical trials show that these types of drugs may be effective treatments for kidney cancer, and this is an area of rapid scientific change. Tivozanib (AV-951) is still in clinical trials but showing that it may be an effective treatment for kidney cancer. Many targeted therapies are being studied for use as adjuvant therapies, which are treatments given after the main treatment(s) to lower the risk of recurrence and to get rid of any hidden remaining cancer cells. Currently, there are no adjuvant therapies (treatments given after the main treatment to reduce the chance of cancer coming back by killing any remaining cancer cells) for kidney cancer that have shown significant benefit.
Cancer vaccines . Cancer vaccines are treatments that help a person’s immune system fight cancer. Doctors are testing the use of several cancer vaccines to treat kidney cancer and prevent recurrence for people with later-stage renal cell carcinoma. One vaccine is made from a person's tumor and given after surgery, while others are made from proteins found on the surface of kidney cancer cells or blood vessel cells found in the tumor.
Supportive care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current kidney cancer treatments in order to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life.
Looking for More about the Latest Research?
If you would like additional information about the latest areas of research regarding kidney cancer, explore these related items that will take you outside of this guide:
- To find clinical trials specific to your diagnosis, talk with your doctor or search online clinical trial databases now .
- Visit ASCO’s CancerProgress.Net  website to learn more about the historical pace of research for kidney cancer. Please note this link takes you to a separate ASCO website.
To continue reading this guide, choose “Next” (below, right) to see a section about coping with the side effects of the disease or its treatment. Or, use the colored boxes located on the right side of your screen to visit any section.