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A doctor talks to a patient about chemotherapy

Chemotherapy for kidney cancer uses cytotoxic drugs to destroy cancerous cells by disrupting their ability to grow and divide. While chemo is not generally considered a standard form of treatment for kidney cancer, it can be helpful for addressing cancerous cells that have spread to other parts of the body, particularly if targeted therapy and immunotherapy are ineffective. Systemic chemo agents enter the bloodstream after being swallowed or injected into a vein, then travel throughout the body to reach and destroy widespread cancer cells. The specific drug or drug combination and delivery method recommended will usually depend on the type and stage of the patient’s kidney cancer. In general, a chemotherapy regimen will consist of a certain number of sessions completed over a specified period of time, followed by a treatment-free period of rest.

Some chemotherapy drugs used for treating kidney cancer include:

  • Vinblastine
  • Floxuridine
  • 5-fluorouracil
  • Capecitabine
  • Gemcitabine

In the Urologic Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, each patient is evaluated and treated by a multispecialty team of experts, including highly experienced surgeons, medical oncologists, supportive care specialists and other medical professionals. We offer the latest advances in kidney cancer treatment, as well as promising new therapies available only through our carefully monitored clinical trials. Our commitment to cancer research has earned us a Comprehensive Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute, and we are the only cancer center based in Florida to have received this prestigious recognition. Every day, as we contribute more to the prevention and eventual cure of kidney cancer, our patient outcomes improve and we provide our patients with better-quality lives.

To learn more about chemotherapy for kidney cancer, which is available at all Moffitt locations, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online. We provide consultations with or without referrals.