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Renal Cell Carcinoma Treatment

Also called: kidney cancer, renal adenocarcinoma, hypernephroma, RCC, renal cell cancer

Renal cell carcinoma is cancer in the lining of the kidney’s tubules. The tubules are long, thin channels that help filter out waste. This cancer often starts in 1 kidney. It can spread to the other kidney or other parts of the body, such as the lungs or lymph nodes.

Almost all kidney cancers are renal cell carcinoma. In teens ages 15-19, about two-thirds (2 out of 3 cases) of all kidney cancers are renal cell carcinomas. This cancer is rare in children younger than 15.

The most common types of renal cell carcinoma in children are papillary renal cell carcinomas and translocation-associated renal cell carcinomas.

Find out more about renal cell carcinoma on the Together by St. Jude™ online resource.

Treatment of renal cell carcinoma

Before treatment begins, the doctor will stage the cancer. Staging includes how big the tumor is and how much the cells have spread. The higher the tumor stage, the more advanced the cancer.

Once the cancer is staged, the doctor will assess your child’s overall health, symptoms, and possible treatment. Treatment may include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Watchful waiting
  • Ablation (removing or destroying cancerous tissues)
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy

Renal cell carcinoma clinical trials

There are no open clinical trials for renal cell carcinoma at this time.

Browse open clinical trials

Renal cell carcinoma care at St. Jude

  • Your child will have a close-knit team of specialists that includes: surgeons; doctors and nurses who treat this cancer; doctors who specialize in radiation therapy, hormones (endocrinologists), and diagnosis (pathologists); experts in diagnostic imaging and nuclear medicine; dietitians; speech therapists; rehabilitation specialists (physical therapists, occupational therapists); child life specialists; psychologists; Quality of Life team members; experts who help manage and minimize the long-term or late effects of treatment; researchers; scientists; and more.
  • The medical team works closely with lab researchers to bring new treatments from the lab to the clinic.

More reasons to choose St. Jude for care include:

  • We are consistently ranked among the best childhood cancer centers in the nation by US News & World Report. 
  • At St. Jude, we have created an environment where children can be children and families can be together.  
  • We lead more clinical trials for childhood cancer than any other hospital in the U.S.  
  • St. Jude is the only National Cancer Institute–designated Comprehensive Cancer Center just for children. A Comprehensive Cancer Center meets rigorous standards for research that develops new and better approaches to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer. 
  • The nurse-to-patient ratio at St. Jude is about 1:3 in hematology and oncology and 1:1 in the Intensive Care Unit. 
  • Patients may be able to get expert, compassionate care and treatment closer to their homes through the St. Jude Affiliate Program.
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Seeking treatment at St. Jude

Patients accepted to St. Jude must have a disease we treat and must be referred by a physician or other qualified medical professional. We accept most patients based on their ability to enroll in an open clinical trial.

How to seek treatment

Contact the Physician / Patient Referral Office

Call: 1-888-226-4343 (toll-free) or 901-595-4055 (local)  | Fax: 901-595-4011 | Email: | 24-hour pager: 1-800-349-4334


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