Medical Director: Alexandra Drakaki, MD
Being diagnosed with kidney cancer is often the beginning of a stressful and confusing time in a person's life. Obtaining information about the disease and treatment options can often help reduce this stress and aid in the personal decision-making process. The UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology (the "IUO") and its multidisciplinary team of world-renown physicians and scientists are working together as a team to personalize patient care and to develop revolutionary treatments for those diagnosed with kidney cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, this year approximately 62,700 people in the United States will be diagnosed with kidney cancer and about 14,240 people will die from this disease. Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women, and the risk for developing kidney cancer is higher in men than in women.
As the world’s first, UCLA’s multidisciplinary Kidney Cancer Program has evaluated and treated more than 4,000 patients over 20 years, and offers the latest treatments and compassionate, individualized care. Patients of the UCLA IUO Kidney Cancer Program have the benefit of our long-held team approach to the treatment and management of kidney cancer that includes world-class urologic oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and our clinical trial's team of physicians and nurses.
Meet our expert team >
The UCLA IUO offers a variety of innovative treatment options to patients who have been diagnosed with kidney cancer, including standard, minimally invasive and robotic-assisted kidney-sparing surgery, as well as clinical trials.
UCLA has been a pioneer in the innovative, multidisciplinary, translational approach to care, including:
Treatment plans are individualized to each patient’s cancer grade and stage as well as current state of health. The management of kidney cancer requires extensive collaboration among specialists. The UCLA IUO holds bi-weekly conferences with a multidisciplinary team that provides a forum with diverse, specialized perspectives for deciding upon the best option for each individual patient.
Breakthroughs in immunotherapy are revolutionizing the treatment of genitourinary cancer, with new treatment options imminent for patients with kidney cancer. UCLA was an early innovator in treatments that bring the patient’s immune system to bear against cancer, stemming from laboratory research. Such UCLA research includes the discovery of the importance and utility of CAIX, a novel kidney cancer gene, for use in diagnosis, vaccine therapy, and selection of patients for clinical trials. This later led to the construction of a novel hybrid-fusion molecule, CAIX-GM-CSF, for potential use as a new vaccine and gene therapy for kidney cancer. With more than 25 years of experience, the UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology maintains one of the nation’s largest immunotherapy treatment and research programs, leading to ground-breaking clinical trials offered to our UCLA patients.
Learn more about our pioneering research >
At the UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology, clinical trials are no longer limited to metastatic cancers or patients who have failed other therapies. Our UCLA IUO doctors are able to provide access to new therapies at earlier stages of the disease. Using our research discoveries in the field of immunotherapy, work is currently under way on a targeted vaccine for kidney cancer that has been in development for the past decade.
Join a kidney cancer clinical trial >
For an appointment with a UCLA kidney cancer specialist, call (310) 794-7700.