BACKGROUND: The occurrence of malignancy following kidney transplantation has been estimated three to five times the incidence compared to that of the general population. It is estimated that particularly in renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the relative risk increases. The aim of this study was to analyze the characteristics, risk factors, and prognosis of RCC following kidney transplantation. METHODS: Total number of 3,272 kidney recipients who underwent transplantation from April 1979 to December 2012 and patients who had RCC following kidney transplantation were retrospectively reviewed and analyzed. RESULTS: We found that among 232 cases of posttransplant malignancies, 25 recipients were diagnosed with RCC. We have observed in our study that it took an average of 175.2+/-71.0 months to develop RCC after their first kidney transplantation. However, with longer follow up period, interval incidence of RCC increased. Fourteen patients (56%) were diagnosed with RCC 15 years after transplantation. We also found that with reference to the risk factor analysis for posttransplant RCC, the long-term follow-up period was the only independent risk factor. In our study, 21 patients with RCC were treated with radical nephrectomy. Of them, 16 patients survived, and four RCC-related deaths occurred. Furthermore, the patient survival rate of RCC recipients was lower than that of the nonmalignancy group despite the graft survival rate were not different. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the incidence of RCC increased in a time-dependent manner following kidney transplantation. Therefore, we strongly recommend the procedure of regular-interval screening for the patients who are on compulsive long-term immunosuppression.