In the last 30 years, there have been many advances in the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma of the clear cell type. Renal cell carcinoma has long been understood to have a component of immune mediation and has been responsive to immune-based therapies; in addition to early cytokine therapy, newer checkpoint inhibition therapies have also demonstrated activity. Molecular characterization of the genome of clear cell renal cell carcinoma enabled identification of the roles of angiogenesis and hypoxic stress. This led to development of small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors and inhibitors of mammalian target of rapamycin that have provided additional benefit to patients. Ongoing strategies of combinations of immune and antiangiogenic therapies may lead to further advancements.