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A diagnosis of kidney cancer can feel overwhelming and scary. It can be reassuring to know that you have internationally recognized kidney cancer experts on your side.
At the University of Chicago Medicine, our patients have access to the most advanced treatments and up-to-date knowledge on kidney cancer. Our physicians are among a select number in the nation that pioneered targeted drug therapies, immunotherapy and minimally invasive surgical approaches for kidney and other urinary cancers. We continue to investigate ways to improve health outcomes and quality of life for our patients through clinical trials aimed at advancing immunotherapy and other treatments.
We believe in a team approach to cancer care, ensuring our patients benefit from the collective wisdom of different medical perspectives. Our medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, radiologists and pathologists meet regularly to discuss patient cases, particularly complex ones. Because UChicago Medicine is a large academic medical center, our kidney cancer patients also have access to other respected experts, as needed, including specialists in kidney transplant, nephrology and heart care.
Our physicians have extensive experience diagnosing and treating all types of kidney cancer, both common and rare types, including:
Some inherited syndromes can increase the risk of developing kidney cancer, including the following:
It is important to identify when patients have these syndromes because it can affect how kidney cancer is managed and may put patients at risk for other medical conditions. Patients and their families can seek testing and counseling from our genetic counselors.
At UChicago Medicine, the most important member of the cancer team is you, the patient. While we bring our medical and surgical expertise to the table, you are the expert on what matters most to you. Together, we will discuss your options and determine a treatment plan that aligns with your values, preferences and goals.
We offer a full-range of treatment options for kidney cancer, including the following:
Many cases of kidney cancer can be cured with surgery. Because people have two kidneys, most patients live healthy lives after having one kidney, or part of a kidney, removed.
The type of surgery will vary, depending on the type of kidney cancer, the location of the tumor(s) and how advanced the disease is. Options include:
Our highly experienced surgeons use minimally invasive (or laparascopic) surgical approaches when possible, operating through small incisions to reduce post-surgical pain and speed recovery. Our surgeons pioneered the use of robotic-assisted techniques for these procedures, which increase the surgeon’s range of motion and visibility when operating, resulting in fewer complications.
Kidney cancer is among the cancers that respond well to immunotherapy, which are drugs to help the body’s immune system fight cancer. A number of immunotherapy drugs are currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating advanced kidney cancer and/or metastatic kidney cancer that has spread beyond the kidneys.
UChicago Medicine is at the leading edge of immunotherapy research for kidney cancer. Our physician-scientists are involved in clinical trials to learn more about how to use immunotherapy to improve survival rates among people with kidney cancer.