Renal tumors are increasingly detected on abdominal imaging studies. Standard treatment of small renal tumors includes partial or radical nephrectomy, done either open or laparoscopically. Several in situ ablative techniques to treat small renal lesions are currently in various phases of evolution. All involve imparting destructive energy to the tumor while minimizing injury to adjacent normal tissue. Cryotherapy (CryoT), radiofrequency ablation (RFA), high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFUS) and high-intensity radiation (HIR) are all being evaluated as tools to ablate renal tumors. The goal with these modalities is to minimize the blood loss, tissue manipulation, and morbidity associated with excisional approaches. Animal studies have shown that large, reproducible lesions can be ablated in normal kidney tissue by these new techniques. Studies of human renal tissue response to RFA are just beginning. Ex vivo studies reveal large, reproducible controlled lesions in normal renal tissue, similar to animal studies. In vivo studies have shown no significant toxicity, while efficacy is currently under evaluation. Preliminary clinical studies in humans have revealed that renal tumors are slow to regress after treatment, but about 75% of these small renal tumors appeared well treated. Mixed responses have been observed in the remaining cases. This paper presents a concise review of efficacy, advantages and disadvantages of these new minimal invasive techniques and their possible clinical implication in the future.