Targeted therapies are a unique class of drugs that find and kill cancer cells by targeting specific characteristics of the cancer such as its genes, proteins or surrounding tissue that helps it grow. The last decade has seen several of these drugs gain FDA-approval for treating kidney cancer.
Currently, targeted therapies are used for patients with advanced disease, whose kidney cancer has spread to other parts of the body. These drugs work against cancer in various ways, but in general, they block the actions necessary for the cancer cells to grow, such as the signals that tell cancer cells to multiply and grow, or the formation of new blood vessels (necessary to feed the tumor). Some of these drugs are delivered by an infusion; others are an oral pill. Targeted therapies for kidney cancer include: