Kidney cancer care at Mayo Clinic

Multispecialty team approach

At Mayo Clinic, our experienced specialists — including urology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology and pathology — work as a team to provide personalized care for people with kidney cancer. Other areas are included as needed, such as medical genetics, integrative medicine or palliative care. A team of pediatric specialists at Mayo Clinic Children's Center manage the diagnosis and treatment of Wilms' tumor, a form of kidney cancer that occurs in children.

Full range of the latest treatment options

Mayo Clinic experts will work with you to review all of your options and choose the treatment that best suits your needs and goals. The range of treatments offered to people with kidney cancer includes surgery, medications, radiation therapy and minimally invasive procedures, such as cryoablation and radiofrequency ablation.

Experts in kidney-sparing surgery

At Mayo Clinic, urologic surgeons are the leaders in kidney-sparing surgery (partial nephrectomy) approaches to kidney cancer removal. Highly trained and experienced experts can accomplish kidney preservation in circumstances that otherwise might cause a patient to have severely limited kidney function or the need for dialysis.

Urologists have access to the latest technology and use advanced surgical techniques to offer robot-assisted options (also called robotic surgery) and open surgery for partial nephrectomy. Mayo Clinic experience and surgical specialization results in excellent outcomes and minimizes potential complications.

Comprehensive cancer center

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which recognizes scientific excellence and a multispecialty approach focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Leaders in kidney cancer research

Mayo Clinic doctors and scientists perform extensive research in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney cancer. Kidney cancer research has led to important discoveries, including the development of technology that resulted in a new category of immune-based treatments including nivolumab (Opdivo), immunotherapy that is sometimes used to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma and other cancers.

Mayo Clinic is an international leader in innovation and research on surgical and nonsurgical management of kidney tumors. Mayo Clinic researchers have improved the chances of cure, extended survival for kidney cancer patients who can't be cured and improved quality of life for patients worldwide.

Access to clinical trials

In some cases, patients are eligible for clinical trials. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center participates in clinical trials where patients can receive drugs currently not available to every cancer center. In some trials, the tumor may undergo additional testing to better match each patient with a drug trial.

The Mayo Clinic experience and patient stories

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.

  1. Cancer Worries Behind Him, Mountain Biker is Back to Tackling Trails

    A mountain bike accident triggered a chain of events that led Joel Pankow to seek treatment at Mayo Clinic for a kidney tumor he believed to be cancer. To his great relief, Joel?s care team found he didn't have cancer after all. Here Joel shares his Mayo Clinic experience in his own words. Written by [...]

Expertise and rankings

  • Kidney cancer experts. Mayo Clinic's experienced specialists in urology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology and kidney pathology work as a team to provide the best care for people with kidney cancer. Our highly skilled urologic surgeons have perfected minimally invasive techniques in partial nephrectomy (kidney-sparing surgery) and complete nephrectomy (kidney removal) to remove kidney cancer and preserve function as much as possible.
  • Excellent outcomes. Mayo's multispecialty team approach ensures that each patient receives the highest quality of care and the best outcome. Mayo Clinic offers low nephrectomy complication rates with short hospital stays. Mayo's urologic surgeons showed early on that, in appropriately selected kidney cancer cases, partial nephrectomy outcome can be just as good as radical nephrectomy. Partial nephrectomy preserves kidney function and aids in prevention of complications.
  • Expertise in complex cases. Mayo Clinic urologic surgeons and medical oncologists are seasoned experts in treating even the most advanced cases of kidney cancer, including complex large renal masses. Mayo's highly specialized and experienced surgical teams can perform complex nephrectomies in circumstances where others may view the tumor as not removable.
  • Comprehensive cancer center. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, recognizing excellence in diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research. In addition, Mayo Clinic is designated as a National Comprehensive Cancer Network center and is a member of the Children's Oncology Group, collaborating with experts in childhood cancer around the world.
  • Personalized medicine. Mayo's kidney cancer team tailors treatment to the specific needs of the patient. The Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine offers genomic testing to select patients in order to personalize care for difficult medical problems. Patient requests are assessed and considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Genetic testing and counseling. If hereditary cancer syndromes or other hereditary disorders such as von Hippel-Lindau disease are known or suspected, Mayo Clinic's medical geneticists and certified genetics counselors work as a team to provide genetic testing and counseling.

If a genetic condition is suspected, medical geneticists and certified genetic counselors at Mayo Clinic evaluate genetic conditions and provide testing, education and counseling.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

April 25, 2018