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Chemotherapy drugs are delivered through the bloodstream to travel through the body and destroy cancer cells. At this time, traditional chemotherapy protocols are not effective in killing kidney cancer cells. However, there is some benefit to a small percentage of those with kidney cancer. Chemotherapy may used if other treatment methods fail, or to relieve symptoms of metastatic cancer and prolong life.


Kidney cancer (adult)—renal cell carcinoma. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003107-pdf.pdf. Accessed December 22, 2015.

Renal cell carcinoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 21, 2015. Accessed December 22, 2015.

Treatment option overview. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/types/kidney/patient/kidney-treatment-pdq#section/_50. Updated July 7, 2015. Accessed December 22, 2015.

Last reviewed May 2016 by Mohei Abouzied, MD  Last Updated: 12/22/2015