Although the kidney is a major organ for vitamin D metabolism, activity, and calcium-related homeostasis, little is known about whether this nutrient plays a role in the development or the inhibition of kidney cancer. To address this gap in knowledge, the authors examined the association between circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and kidney cancer within a large, nested case-control study developed as part of the Cohort Consortium Vitamin D Pooling Project of Rarer Cancers. Concentrations of 25(OH)D were measured from 775 kidney cancer cases and 775 age-, sex-, race-, and season-matched controls from 8 prospective cohort studies. Overall, neither low nor high concentrations of circulating 25(OH)D were significantly associated with kidney cancer risk. Although the data showed a statistically significant decreased risk for females (odds ratio = 0.31, 95% confidence interval: 0.12, 0.85) with 25(OH)D concentrations of > or =75 nmol/L, the linear trend was not statistically significant and the number of cases in this category was small (n = 14). The findings from this consortium-based study do not support the hypothesis that vitamin D is inversely associated with the risk of kidney cancer overall or with renal cell carcinoma specifically.