Kidney Cancer Treatment

At Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, our multidisciplinary medical team works closely to accurately diagnose your kidney cancer and help you understand your options so that you can make an informed decision about your treatment.

As a regional and national leader in kidney cancer care, Fox Chase has a wealth of experience treating all types of kidney cancer.

Our skilled genitourinary oncology team meets regularly to review patient cases and map out a personalized treatment plan. We strive to treat your cancer in the least invasive way possible using innovative surgical techniques and combination therapies that give you the best chance of a successful outcome.

Our doctors are also actively involved in developing new therapies for treating kidney cancer. Through clinical trials, we are able to offer our patients access to promising treatments and experimental therapies that may not be available elsewhere. Ask your Fox Chase doctor if a clinical trial is right for you.

Your Treatment Options

Treatment for kidney cancer depends on the stage, type and grade of your tumor; whether it has spread to other organs; and your age, health history and personal goals. Your personalized treatment plan will be created after consultations with multiple physicians within our multidisciplinary team. Your kidney cancer care plan may include a combination of one or more of the following treatment options:


Traditional kidney cancer treatment requires open surgery to remove the entire kidney, nearby adrenal glands, and all surrounding tissue.

Other options Fox Chase doctors often use include:

  • Partial nephrectomy (also called nephron-sparing surgery)
  • Minimally-invasive surgery (laparoscopy and robotics)
  • Tissue ablation treatments (renal cryotherapy or radioablation)

Fox Chase doctors are leaders in minimally-invasive surgical techniques. At Fox Chase, robotic and laparoscopic surgery is performed both through the traditional transperitoneal (through the front) approach and through the more technically challenging retroperitoneal (through the side) robotic technique.

Our doctors are also the region’s leaders in kidney preservation surgery and have performed the most partial nephrectomies in the Delaware Valley. In 2009, the Fox Chase kidney cancer team developed a standardized system to determine whether surgeons can safely perform a partial nephrectomy, which is now used by kidney surgeons around the world.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is rarely used as a primary treatment for kidney cancer, but external beam radiation treatment can be used to relieve pain or other symptoms in patients with advanced kidney cancer.

Systemic Therapy

The medical oncologists at Fox Chase Cancer Center are regional and national leaders in the treatment of kidney cancer. As part of the multidisciplinary team, your medical oncologist will help to determine your personalized treatment plan, which may include systemic therapies such as targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or chemotherapy, either as standard of care or as part of a clinical trial.

Systemic therapy may be given before or after surgery and may also be recommended to patients who are diagnosed after the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic cancer).

Clinical Trials

Fox Chase Cancer Center actively participates in a number of clinical trials for patients with kidney cancer. In addition to receiving excellent care, our patients also benefit from the groundbreaking research that we do to expand our understanding of new kidney cancer therapies and treatments. We encourage eligible patients to participate in clinical trials that are available and appropriate for their stage and type of kidney cancer.