Explore the Kidney Cancer Treatment Program


The Claire & John Bertucci Center for Genitourinary Cancers is one of the largest and most experienced centers in New England. Our specialists diagnose and treat kidney cancers including:

  • Clear cell renal cell carcinoma
  • Papillary renal cell carcinoma
  • Sarcomatoid renal cell carcinoma
  • Rare forms of renal cell carcinoma
  • Transitional cell carcinoma of the renal pelvis
  • Wilms tumor

We also offer experienced care for those with or at risk for inherited or rare forms of kidney cancers including von Hippel-Lindau disease.

Innovative Approaches

We offer patients the most advanced treatment options available for all stages of kidney cancer. Recent advances in available treatment include:

  • A class of targeted drugs that slow tumor growth by blocking angiogenesis, or blood supply, to tumor cells
  • Another class of targeted drugs that block a growth pathway within cancer cells
  • "Nephron sparing" kidney surgery to preserve long-term kidney function
  • Radiology-based ablation procedures for nonsurgical therapy of kidney cancer
  • Minimally invasive surgical procedures to treat early forms of kidney cancer
  • Clinical trials examining new treatment approaches such as immunotherapy and targeted therapy

Multidisciplinary Patient Care

New patients are generally seen within a week of referral. At your first appointment, you will meet the genitourinary cancer specialists who will be involved in your care, including:

  • Urologists and surgical oncologists experienced in the latest kidney cancer surgery approaches
  • Radiation oncologists who specialize in delivering the optimal therapeutic dose while protecting healthy tissue
  • Medical oncologists to discuss overall prognosis and review the available treatment approaches

In addition, you may also see:

  • Pathologists specializing in urologic cancers
  • Radiologists specializing in genitourinary cancer imaging
  • Oncology nurses and nurse practitioners who specialize in cancer care
  • Oncology psychiatrists and social workers experienced in helping with the cognitive side effects of cancer and treatment, as well the emotional and spiritual side of the cancer experience
  • A nutritionist to help you with questions about diet and nutrition during treatment

Standard and Novel Medical Treatments

Our kidney cancer patients have access to both traditional and innovative approaches to the treatment of advanced kidney cancer. These include targeted therapies, which have revolutionized the care and prognosis of this disease. Our patients have access to new treatments through our clinical trials program, which is one of the most advanced in the region.

Excellence in Surgical Care

Minimally invasive surgeries reduce complications, shorten hospital stays, and speed patient recovery. Our patients benefits from experienced surgical teams who are experienced in traditional and minimally invasive procedures including radiofrequency ablation and laparoscopic nephrectomy.

Pioneering Radiation Therapies

Although radiation is not often required to treat cancer within the kidney, it may be used after surgery. In this case, we use the most current, safest techniques, including intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and intraoperative radiation. The latter is a form of radiation delivered to the surgical area once a tumor has been removed and while the patient is under sedation. Precision radiation, including proton therapy, may also be used if cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Learn more about radiation therapy.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies of new drugs, new combinations of drugs or already approved drugs being studied to treat patients in new/different ways. They may include new drug doses or new ways (schedules) to give the drugs. Clinical trials are run under strict guidelines. Their purpose is to help find out whether new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard (current) treatment.

Cancer is increasingly becoming a disease in which the genetic makeup of each individual cancer drives therapy. The Center for Genitourinary Cancers also has access to clinical trials involving these targeted therapy approaches.

Find listings of our current Clinical Trials for Kidney Cancer.


Patient Education & Resources

Cancer is caused by malignant (cancerous) cells that grow and multiply without control. When cancer begins in the tissues of a kidney, it is called kidney cancer (or renal cancer).

Renal Cell Carcinoma Genetics Program

Renal Cell Carcinoma Genetics Program

We help to identify families that may have a hereditary renal (kidney) cancer syndrome.

Department of Urology

Department of Urology

Learn more about Mass General's Department of Urology.

Genitourinary Program

Genitourinary Program

Learn about the Genitourinary Program in the Dept of Radiation Oncology.

Center for Genitourinary Cancers

Center for Genitourinary Cancers

Learn more about the Center for Genitourinary Cancers.

Preparing for Your Visit

Preparing for Your Visit

A checklist of items to bring with you for your first visit and helpful information.

Supportive Care

Supportive Care

We offer a variety of education and support resources to help you and your family.

Workshops & Support Groups

Workshops & Support Groups

We offer a wide range of integrative therapies, workshops and support groups.