Kidney Cancer Treatment OptionsIf you’ve been diagnosed with kidney cancer, you need a team of doctors that specializes in your type of cancer.
At Hackensack Meridian Health, you’ll find experts who helped develop robotic surgery for kidney cancer. With six dedicated robotic urological systems, including New Jersey’s first da Vinci SP® single-port robot, we perform more than 775 robotic procedures a year, and more than 5,000 in the past decade.
In addition to robotic surgery, your personalized treatment plan may include targeted therapy, chemotherapy or radiation designed for your exact type of kidney cancer. We offer the most advanced approaches to minimize side effects and effectively treat your kidney cancer.
Active SurveillanceInstead of surgery, you and your doctor may opt for active surveillance. This may be recommended if the tumor is small or slow growing. We take into consideration the size and type of tumor as well your age and overall health. We closely monitor you and perform advanced imaging to detect any cancer progression.
This is usually done by imaging tests (CT or MRI scan) every 3 to 6 months. If it grows quickly or gets larger than 4 cm, the tumor is removed or treated another way.
Robotic and Minimally Invasive Kidney Surgery
The urologists at Hackensack Meridian Health are recognized worldwide as leaders in robotic kidney surgery. Our goal is to safely remove your tumor without removing your kidney, whenever possible. While you can function with only one kidney, having two kidneys provides the best chance of living with fewer complications. Based on the size and location of your tumor and your overall health, we may recommend either:
- Partial Kidney Removal (Partial Nephrectomy): Removing only part of the kidney. This is the preferred approach for tumors 7 cm or smaller. More than 80 percent of our patients have this approach, which saves your kidney function and does not expose you to the risks associated with having only one kidney.
- Total Kidney Removal (Radical Nephrectomy): Removing the entire kidney. May include removing surrounding fat, lymph nodes and the adrenal gland
Single Port Robotic Kidney Surgery
Our surgeons have taken robotic kidney surgery one step further by developing a single-port approach, which means all surgical tools and camera are inserted through a single incision. Hackensack University Medical Center was among the first hospitals in the world — and the first in New Jersey — to use the da Vinci SP® single-port robotic surgery system for urologic surgeries. Compared to traditional surgery, kidney cancer removal with the da Vinci SP® single-port robotic surgery system offers:
- One incision, and less tissue damage
- Increased precision and flexibility for complex surgeries
- Decreased blood loss, reduced need for transfusions, and less risk of infection
- Less pain after surgery
- Smaller external and internal scars
- Shorter hospital stay
- Faster recovery and return to normal activities
Why Choose Hackensack Meridian Health for Robotic Kidney Surgery
- Six dedicated robotic urological systems, including New Jersey’s first da Vinci SP® single-port robot.
- Hackensack University Medical Center was among the first hospitals in the world to use the da Vinci SP® single-port robotic surgery system for urologic surgeries.
- More than 775 robotic procedures a year, and more than 5,000 in the past decade performed at Hackensack University Medical Center.
- More than 90 percent of major urology surgeries at Hackensack University Medical Center use robotic technology.
- Our urologists publish robotic surgery studies in academic journals and present at international conferences.
Other Treatments for Kidney Cancer
Based on your type of kidney cancer, you may be a candidate for a TKI targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or a combination of both. These treatments – either as a pill or an IV infusion – work to shrink or slow the growth of your kidney cancer. We offer these as standard treatment or through clinical trial.
- Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor (TKI): TKI is one type of targeted therapy for kidney cancer. TKIs recognize and attack kidney cancer cells while causing less damage to normal cells.
- Immunotherapy: Uses the body’s own immune system to fight kidney cancer. A checkpoint inhibitor is an example of immunotherapy for kidney cancer. Our cells naturally have what’s called “immune checkpoints” that keep the immune system from attacking healthy cells. However, cancer blocks immune checkpoints and causes the body to attack healthy cells. Checkpoint inhibitors are designed to prevent that process.
Our radiation therapy specialists are among the region’s most experienced in using image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), which employs images taken before each radiation therapy session to precisely focus treatment on the exact location of the cancer cells. IGRT allows for the most effective dose of radiation while minimizing side effects and protecting healthy kidney tissue.
If you are unable to have surgery, another type of radiation therapy called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) may be recommended to control symptoms.
Our award winning team of renowned surgeons, physicians, researchers and other health care specialists are able to provide you with exceptional urological expertise, advancements and cutting-edge technology to develop a highly- personalized plan for each and every one of our patients.