The number of elderly patients with renal cell carcinoma is rising. Elderly patients differ from their younger counterparts in, among others, higher incidence of comorbidity and reduced organ function. Age influences outcome of surgery, and therefore has to be taken into account in elderly patients eligible for cytoreductive nephrectomy. Over the last decade several novel effective drugs have become available for the metastatic setting targeting angiogenesis and mammalian target of rapamycin. Immune checkpoint blockade with a programmed death 1 antibody has recently been shown to increase survival and further studies with immune checkpoint inhibitors are ongoing. In this review we summarize the available data on efficacy and toxicity of existing and emerging therapies for metastatic renal cell carcinoma in the elderly. Where possible, we provide evidence-based recommendations for treatment choices in elderly. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.