Maelstrom (MAEL), a novel cancer/testis-associated gene, may facilitate the initiation and progression of human malignancies, warranting comprehensive investigations. Single-cell and tissue-bulk transcriptomic data demonstrated higher MAEL expression in testis (spermatogonia/spermatocyte), kidney (proximal tubular cell), and brain (neuron/astrocyte), and corresponding cancers, including testicular germ cell tumor, glioma, papillary renal cell carcinoma, and clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Of these cancers, only in ccRCC did MAEL expression exhibit associations with both recurrence-free survival and overall survival. High MAEL expression was associated with an anti-inflammatory tumor immune microenvironment and VEGFR/mTOR activation in ccRCC tissues and high sensitivities to VEGFR/PI3K-AKT-mTOR inhibitors in ccRCC cell lines. Consistent with these, low rather than high MAEL expression indicated remarkable progression-free survival benefits from immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI)-based immunotherapies over VEGFR/mTOR inhibitors in two large phase III trials (JAVELIN Renal 101 and CheckMate-025). MAEL is a biologically and clinically significant determinant with potential for prognostication after nephrectomy and patient selection for VEGFR/mTOR inhibitors and immunotherapy-based treatments.