Our team based in Seattle conducted a comprehensive review including evolving trends in the management of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). This summary covers key decision points, including recommended work-up during initial diagnosis, treatment options for MCC when it’s in one place or has spread, management of recurrent MCC, and new treatments that are showing promise with fewer side effects and good results. This review gives valuable information on how to handle MCC overall and emphasizes new methods that are effective and less toxic on patients.
Intratumoral CD8+ lymphocytes (IT-CD8s) have shown promise as a prognostic indicator for Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). We tested whether IT-CD8s predict survival among a population-based MCC cohort.
One hundred thirty-seven MCC cases that had not previously been analyzed for IT-CD8s were studied.
Three-year MCC-specific survival rates were 56%, 72%, and 100% for patients with absent (n = 46), low (n = 85), and moderate or strong (n = 6) IT-CD8s, respectively. Increased IT-CD8s were associated with improved MCC-specific survival in a multivariate competing risk-regression analysis including stage, age, and sex (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.5; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.3-0.9). Although a similar trend was observed for overall survival, statistical significance was not reached (HR = 0.8; 95% CI = 0.6-1.0), likely because of the high rate of non-MCC deaths among older patients.
This study of prospectively captured MCC cases supports the concept that cellular immuni