Introduction: We evaluated the results and effects of radical nephrectomy followed by immunochemotherapy and embolization alone on the survival of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Patients and Methods: The study included 20 patients with histologically confirmed renal cell carcinoma. Ten patients were in the combined therapy group and the other 10 patients who were unable to undergo nephrectomy because of poor performance status or unresectable tumor were in the embolization group. Radical nephrectomy was performed on patients with good performance status (WHO criteria 0-1). Immunochemotherapy (interferon alpha 2a and 5-fluorouracil) was started within 1 month after surgery. A dose of 9 x 10(6) U/day interferon alpha 2a was subcutaneously administered 3 times a week. A dose of 750 mg/m(2) 5-fluorouracil was administered intravenously during 4 h in the first 5 days of treatment. 5-Fluorouracil therapy was converted to weekly intervals after the first 12 days. Combined therapy was continued for 3 months. Ethanol was used for transarterial embolization. The main renal arteries and parasitic arteries of the tumor were embolized. Results: There were no significant differences in age distribution, sex, affected side, tumor size and T stage between the groups. After completion of the combined therapy, 6 patients showed progression at the first control. Only 1 patient (10 %) had stable disease throughout the 10 months after combined therapy. One patient died of myocardial infarction on the 4th day in the embolization group. While progressive disease within the first 3 months was detected in 6 patients, the other 3 patients (30%) had stable disease for 14, 17 and 55 months, respectively. There was no complete response in any group and no patient was alive (died of renal cell carcinoma) at the time of the analysis of the study data. Whereas the median survival time was 11 months (1-80) (mean +/- SE: 22.2 +/- 9.1) in the combined group, this time was a median of 1 month (1-74) (mean +/- SE: 17.5 +/- 8.6) in the embolization group. There was no statistically significant difference in survival time between the groups (p > 0.05). Conclusion: In this preliminary report, the clinical findings in embolization-group patients were definitively worse than the nephrectomy plus immunochemotherapy-group patients. In spite of these differences, combination therapy using radical nephrectomy and immunochemotherapy could not show superiority to embolization alone, especially in terms of survival time. Copyright (C) 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel.