Renal cell carcinoma is characterised by chemo- and radioresistance. Although drugs targeting angiogenesis and intracellular signaling have become the mainstay of systemic therapy for renal cell carcinoma in the last decade, latest immunotherapeutic approaches have achieved promising results. Aim: To review the development of immunotherapy for renal cell carcinoma, especially the results of published studies using novel immunotherapeutic agents including checkpoint inhibitors. Results: It has long been known that nonspecific immunotherapy may result in long term complete remission in a small number of patients. Advances in immunology have led to the renewal of interest in the use of anticancer immunotherapy for metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Promising results in phase I and II studies have been achieved using monoclonal antibodies against PD- 1 receptor and its ligand. Studies comparing immunotherapy to standard targeted therapies are ongoing.