Less Toxic, More Effective Treatment — A Win-Win for Patients With Merkel Cell Carcinoma

September 4, 2019


JAMA Dermatology

Publication Date

September 4, 2019


Nghiem P, Park S

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Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive skin cancer
that recurs in more than one-third of cases, with reported
mortality rates of 33%to 46%.1 Given this high risk
situation, MCC is often managed with therapies that
are aggressive and potentially toxic: extensive surgery,
radiation therapy (RT), and systemic therapy. Fortunately,
recent advances in multiple realms now allow
MCC management to be more effective and less toxic.
In this Viewpoint, we highlight 3 recent developments
relating to progress in local management, early detection
of recurrent disease, and systemic therapy. Although
it is not practical for physicians who rarely see
patients with MCC to remain up-to-date on the details
of management, herein we provide resources and guidelines
to help physicians ensure optimal initial care and
participate in longitudinal treatment of patients with

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