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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Kidney Cancer, Version 1.2017


collecting duct RCC

The fourth most common subtype of RCC (renal cell

carcinoma) based on how the cancer cells look when

viewed with a microscope.

complete blood count (CBC)

A test of the number of blood cells.

computed tomography (CT) scan

A test that uses x-rays from many angles to make a picture

of the inside of the body.


A dye put into your body to make clearer pictures during

imaging tests.


A waste product of muscles that is filtered out of blood into

urine by the kidneys.


Proteins made naturally in the body or in a lab that boost or

activate the immune system.

cytokine therapy

Treatment with drugs that are cytokines—proteins made in a

lab that boost or activate the immune system to fight cancer.

cytoreductive nephrectomy

Surgery to remove the whole kidney with the tumor when

cancer has spread to many distant sites and can’t all be



The process of identifying or confirming a disease.

distant recurrence

Cancer that has come back after treatment and is found in a

part of the body far from the first (primary) tumor.

EGFR inhibitor

A drug that blocks the action of EGFR (epidermal growth

factor receptor), a protein on the outside surface of a cell

that sends signals inside the cell to grow.

epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)

A protein on the outside surface of a cell that sends signals

inside the cell to grow.

external beam radiation therapy (EBRT)

Radiation therapy (use of high-energy rays to destroy

cancer cells) received from a machine outside the body.

first-line treatment

The first drug or set of drugs given to treat cancer.

follow-up test

Tests done after the start of treatment to check how well

treatment is working.


A crack or break in a bone.

general anesthesia

A controlled loss of wakefulness from drugs.


A set of coded instructions in cells for making new cells and

controlling how cells behave.

Gerota’s fascia

The outer layer of fibrous tissue that surrounds the kidney.

growth rate

A measure of how much the cancer grows over a set period

of time.

hand-foot syndrome

Redness, pain, swelling or blisters on the palms of the

hands or soles of the feet.


Chemicals in the body that activate cells or organs.

imaging test

Tests that make pictures (images) of the inside of the body.

immune system

The body’s natural defense against infection and disease.


Treatment that activates or boosts the body’s natural

defense against disease (immune system) to fight cancer.


A method of giving drugs slowly through a needle into a



The organ that eaten food passes through after leaving the


kidney function

A description of how well the kidneys are working.