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.
This selection from the NCCN Guidelines for Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC) focuses on areas impacted by recently emerging data, including sections describing MCC risk factors, diagnosis, workup, follow-up, and management of advanced disease with radiation and systemic therapy. Included in these sections are discussion of the new recommendations for use of Merkel cell polyomavirus as a biomarker and new recommendations for use of checkpoint immunotherapies to treat metastatic or unresectable disease. The next update of the complete version of the NCCN Guidelines for MCC will include more detailed information about elements of pathology and addresses additional aspects of management of MCC, including surgical management of the primary tumor and draining nodal basin, radiation therapy as primary treatment, and management of recurrence.