The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the prognostic factors of patients with renal cell carcinoma. The treatment results such as distant metastasis-free survival and overall survival of 59 previously untreated patients were retrospectively analysed. Median follow-up was 17.5 months (3.8-88.5 months). Overall survival was 22.4 months (3-87 months). Distant metastasis developed in 35 (59%) patients. The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (P = 0.022), tumour size (P = 0.025) and lymphatic invasion (P < 0.0001) were significantly effective prognostic factors for distant metastasis-free survival on multivariate analysis. Related to overall survival, gender (P = 0.025), ECOG performance status (P = 0.027), nuclear grade (P = 0.002), tumour size (P = 0.029), T stage (P = 0.044), nodal involvement (P = 0.003), surgical margin (P = 0.046), renal sinus invasion (P < 0.0001), perineural growth (P = 0.001) and lymphatic invasion (P < 0.0001) were significant prognostic factors on univariate analysis. Gender (P = 0.008), ECOG performance status (P = 0.027), tumour size (P = 0.025) and lymphatic invasion (P < 0.0001) retained their significance on multivariate analysis. We concluded that the most important prognostic factors for patients with renal cell carcinomas are ECOG performance status, tumour size and lymphatic invasion.