Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most lethal of the common urologic malignancies, with approximately 40% of patients eventually dying of cancer progression. Approximately one third of patients present with metastatic disease, and up to 40% treated for localized disease have a recurrence. Recent advances in the understanding of the pathogenesis, behavior, and molecular biology of RCC have paved the way for developments that may enhance early diagnosis, better predict tumor prognosis, and improve survival for RCC patients. The recent discovery of molecular tumor markers is expected to revolutionize the staging of RCC in the future and lead to the development of new therapies based on molecular targeting. Cytokine-based immunotherapy can be considered standard therapy in the treatment of metastatic RCC today. However, new therapies such as tumor vaccines, anti-angiogenesis agents, and small molecule inhibitors are being developed to improve efficacy and treat those patients who are unable to tolerate or are resistant to systemic immunotherapy. The aim of this review is to provide an update on current therapeutic approaches and targeted molecular therapy for metastatic RCC.