Immunotherapy, though not a new modality for cancer treatment, has enjoyed
renewed vigor and interest over the last several years. Multiple new targets have
been identified, and therapeutic agents are in varying stages of development, with
some agents having obtained regulatory approval for administration in the clinic.
Renal cell carcinoma is known to potentially respond favorably to immunotherapy,
with a small subset of patients achieving durable responses to high dose interleukin-2
therapy. Consequently, renal cell carcinoma is one of the many tumor types in which
the efficacy of new agents is being investigated. Here we examine the landscape of
current immunotherapeutic options for renal cell carcinoma, including cytokine therapy,
immune checkpoint blockade, hematopoietic stem cell transplant, and vaccine
therapy. We review approved immune directed therapies as well as new agents undergoing clinical trials
in renal cell carcinoma. Immunotherapy has been and remains a promising treatment modality in this
tumor type. Hopefully the approval of newer agents will translate into more accessible and efficacious
options for patients and oncologists.