Kidney CancerMetastatic Kidney Cancer

Let's Talk About Metastatic Kidney Cancer

When cancer spreads beyond the kidney, treating this disease becomes more challenging, but not hopeless. Learn how new medications are changing the game.

    Our Pro PanelMetastatic Kidney Cancer

    We went to some of the nation's top experts in kidney cancer to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Pedro Barata, M.D. headshot

    Pedro Barata, M.D.Medical Oncologist

    Tulane Cancer Center
    New Orleans, LA
    Katy Beckerman, M.D, Ph.D.

    Katy Beckerman, M.D, Ph.D.Medical Oncologist

    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Nashville, TN
    Pavlos Msaouel, M.D., Ph.D.

    Pavlos Msaouel, M.D., Ph.D.Medical Oncologist

    The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    Houston, TX

    Frequently Asked QuestionsMetastatic Kidney Cancer

    Who gets renal cell carcinoma?

    While anyone can get kidney cancer, more than 90% of patients get diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma when they’re over 45, and almost half when they’re over 65. Men are nearly twice as likely as women to develop the disease. The type of kidney cancer is often the best indicator of how quickly the cancer can spread, but any form of kidney cancer has the potential to develop in different areas of the body.

    Can you recover from advanced kidney cancer?

    It’s rare for patients to be completely disease free after treatment, but not unheard of, although there’s always a chance that the disease can come back. Less than 5% of patients show no evidence of disease after targeted therapies, and almost 10% of patients show a complete response to a certain combination of immunotherapies, while between 4% and 6% are disease free after treatment with a mix of immunotherapies and targeted therapies.

    How does kidney cancer spread?

    To progress to stage 4 kidney cancer, cancer cells travel through the blood or lymphatic system (part of the immune system) to other areas of the body. Most often, they appear as new tumors in the lungs, bone, liver, and brain, but they can show up almost anywhere.

    Should I consider a clinical trial?

    Doctors often recommend clinical trials for patients who don’t have clear cell renal cell carcinoma, like papillary or chromophobe RCC. If you are enrolled in a trial, you might receive the standard treatment or be part of the first wave of patients to try a new therapy.

    Lexi Krupp

    Lexi Krupp

    Lexi Krupp is a journalist who covers health and science stories for audio and print.