Metastatic renal cell carcinoma has harboured a poor prognosis for decades with immunotherapy being the only available therapy with high toxicity and modest effect. Dependance of renal cell carcinoma oncogenesis on the mTOR pathway has led to clinical development of temsirolimus in this setting. This sirolimus derivative has shown clinical efficacy in monotherapy for poor-risk renal cell carcinoma leading to an overall survival of 10.8 months in the pivotal phase III trial of this agent. Its specific adverse events consist of metabolic dysregulation (hyperlipemia, hyperglycemia), mucositis, rash and pneumonitis which can be severe and need careful monitoring and management. In this review, we will discuss of the clinical development of this molecule, its efficacy, its safety profile and future perspectives.