UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center offers comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for patients with all stages of kidney cancer aimed at cure or control of disease, prevention of cancer recurrence and optimization of quality of life. Your team of cancer specialists will include experts in urology, hematology and oncology, surgical oncology, cardiothoracic surgery, radiation oncology, pathology, diagnostic radiology, dietetics and genetic counseling.

More about kidney cancer

Chris Evans © UC RegentsKidney cancer forms in the tissues of the kidneys. It can include renal cell carcinoma, which  forms in the lining of the small tubes that filter the blood and remove waste products, or Wilms tumor, a type of kidney cancer that usually develops in children under age 5.

In the United States, an estimated 65,000 new cases of kidney cancer are reported every year, the majority in men over age 55. Overall, the survival rate is very good at an estimated 80 percent.

Surgery is the most common treatment for people with kidney cancer. The type of surgery depends on the size and stage of the cancer, whether you have two kidneys, and whether cancer was found in both kidneys. There are different types of surgeries, either of which may be performed with open surgery (incision into the body) or laparoscopically (smaller incisions, sometimes with a robotic surgical system):

  • Radical nephrectomy: The surgeon removes the entire kidney along with the adrenal gland and some tissue around the kidney. Some lymph nodes in the area may also be removed. When one kidney is removed, the remaining kidney is usually able to do the work of both kidneys.
  • Partial nephrectomy: The surgeon removes only the part of the kidney that contains the tumor. This surgery is often used for people with smaller kidney tumors.

Other procedures may be available for people for whom surgery is not the best option. You and your doctor will discuss your best options.

After surgery, your health care team will watch you for signs of bleeding, infection or other problems. They will keep track of how much fluid you take in and how much urine passes out of your body.

Keegan KA, Schupp CW, Chamie K, Hellenthal NJ, Evans CP, and Koppie TM. Histopathology of Surgically Treated Renal Cell Carcinoma: Survival Differences by Subtype and Stage. Journal of Urology. 2012 August. 188(2): 391-397.

Ganti S, Taylor SL, Abu Aboud O, Yang J, Evans C, Osier MV, Alexander DC, Kim K, and Weiss RH. Kidney tumor biomarkers revealed by simultaneous multiple matrix metabolomics analysis. Cancer Research. 2012 July. 72(14): 3471-3479.

Ganti S, Taylor SL, Kim K, Hoppel CL, Guo LN, Yang J, Evans C, and Weiss RH. Urinary acylcarnitines are altered in human kidney cancer. International Journal of Cancer. 2012 June. 130(12): 2791-2800.

Hu B, Lara PN, and Evans CP. Defining an individualized treatment strategy for metastatic renal cancer. Urologic Clinics of North America. 2012 May. 39(2): 233.

Queisser N, Schupp N, Stopper H, Schinzel R, and Oteiza PI. Aldosterone increases kidney tubule cell oxidants through calcium-mediated activation of NADPH oxidase and nitric oxide synthase. Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 2011 December. 51(11): 1996-2006.

Inoue H, Hwang SH, Wecksler AT, Hammock BD, and Weiss RH. Sorafenib attenuates p21 in kidney cancer cells and augments cell death in combination with DNA-damaging chemotherapy. Cancer Biology & Therapy. 2011 November. 12(9): 827-836.

URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21878748

Weiss RH and Kim KM. Metabolomics in the study of kidney diseases. Nature Reviews Nephrology. 2011 October. 8(1): 22-33.

Ganti S and Weiss RH. Urine metabolomics for kidney cancer detection and biomarker discovery. Urologic Oncology-Seminars and Original Investigations. 2011 Sept.-Oct. 29(5): 551-557.

Kim K, Taylor SL, Ganti S, Guo LN, Osier MV, and Weiss RH. Urine metabolomic analysis identifies potential biomarkers and pathogenic pathways in kidney cancer. Omics-a Journal of Integrative Biology. 2011 May. 15(5): 293-303.

Catto JW, Alcaraz A, Bjartell AS, De Vere White R, Evans CP, Fussel S, Hamdy FC, Kallioniemi O, Mengual L, Schlomm T, and Visakorpi T. MicroRNA in prostate, bladder, and kidney cancer: a systematic review. European Urology. 2011 May. 9(5): 671-81.

Queisser N, Oteiza PI, Stopper H, Oli RG, and Schupp N. Aldosterone induces oxidative stress, oxidative dna damage and nf-kappa b-activation in kidney tubule cells. Molecular Carcinogenesis. 2011 February. 50(2): 123-135.

Ishimaru T, Lau J, Jackson AL, Modiano JF, and Weiss RH. Pharmacological inhibition of cyclin dependent kinases causes p53 dependent apoptosis in renal cell carcinoma. Journal of Urology. 2010 November. 184(5): 2143-2149.

Taylor SL, Ganti S, Bukanov NO, Chapman A, Fiehn O, Osier M, Kim K, and Weiss RH. A metabolomics approach using juvenile cystic mice to identify urinary biomarkers and altered pathways in polycystic kidney disease. American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology. 2010 April. 298(4): F909-F922.

Liu JY, Park SH, Morisseau C, Hwang SH, Hammock BD, and Weiss RH. Sorafenib has soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitory activity, which contributes to its effect profile in vivo. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 2009 August. 8(8): 2193-2203.

Perroud B, Ishimaru T, Borowsky AD, and Weiss RH. Grade-dependent proteomics characterization of kidney cancer. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. 2009 May. 8(5): 971-985.

Hellenthal NJ, Chamie K, Ramirez ML, and de Vere White RW. Sociodemographic factors associated with nephrectomy in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Journal of Urology. 2009 March. 181(3): 1013-1018.

Kim K, Aronov P, Zakharkin SO, Anderson D, Perroud B, Thompson IM, and Weiss RH. Urine metabolomics analysis for kidney cancer detection and biomarker discovery. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. 2009 March. 8(3): 558-570.

Parikh-Patel A, White RH, Allen M, and Cress R. Cancer risk in a cohort of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in California. Cancer Causes & Control. 2008 October. 19(8): 887-894.

Cambio AJ, Evans CP, and Kurzrock EA. Non-surgical management of multicystic dysplastic kidney. BJU International. 2008 April. 101(7): 804-808.

Park EK, Mak SK, Kultz D, and Hammock BD. Determination of cytotoxicity of nephrotoxins on murine and human kidney cell lines. Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Part B-Pesticides Food Contaminants and Agricultural Wastes. 2008 January. 43(1): 71-74.

Park SH, Park JY, and Weiss RH. Antisense attenuation of p21 sensitizes kidney cancer to apoptosis in response to conventional DNA damaging chemotherapy associated with enhancement of phospho-p53. Journal of Urology. 2008 January. 180(1): 352-360.

Weiss RH, Borowsky AD, Seligson D, Lin PY, Dillard-Telm L, Belldegrun AS, Figlin RA, and Pantuck AD. p21 is a prognostic marker for renal cell carcinoma: Implications for novel therapeutic approaches. Journal of Urology. 2007 January. 177(1): 63-68.

Kind T, Tolstikov V, Fiehn O, and Weiss RH. A comprehensive urinary metabolomic approach for identifying kidney cancer. Analytical Biochemistry. 2007. 363(2): 185-195.

Park JY, Lin PY, and Weiss RH. Targeting the PI3K-Akt pathway in kidney cancer. Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy. 2007. 7(6): 863-870.

Oncologists Specializing in Kidney Cancer

Urologic Oncology

Christopher Evans, M.D., FACSChristopher Evans, M.D., FACS
Professor and Chair of Urology

Marc Dall'Era, M.D.Marc Dall'Era, M.D.
Associate Professor of Urology

Hematology and Oncology

Primo Lara, Jr., M.D.Primo Lara, M.D.
Professor of Medicine, Hematology and Oncology

Chong-Xian Pan, M.D., Ph.D.Chong-Xian Pan, M.D. Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine, Hematology and Oncology

Mamta Parikh, M.D., M.S.Mamta Parikh, M.D., M.S.
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Hematology and Oncology

Supportive Oncology


Danielle BahamDanielle Baham, M.S., R.D.

Kathleen NewmanKathleen Newman, R.D., C.S.O.

Hereditary Cancer Program

Nicole Mans, M.S., L.C.G.C.Nicole Mans, M.S., L.C.G.C.

Daniela Martiniuc, M.S.Daniela Martiniuc, M.S.

Jeanna Welborn, M.D.Jeanna Welborn, M.D.

Social Work

Jenifer Cooreman, LCSW, OSW-CJenifer Cooreman, L.C.S.W., O.S.W.-C.