Merkel cell carcinoma - Current therapeutic options

Poulsen, Michael and Rischin, Danny (2003) Merkel cell carcinoma - Current therapeutic options. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy, 4 12: 2187-2192. doi:10.1517/14656566.4.12.2187

Author Poulsen, Michael
Rischin, Danny
Title Merkel cell carcinoma - Current therapeutic options
Journal name Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1465-6566
Publication date 2003-12
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1517/14656566.4.12.2187
Volume 4
Issue 12
Start page 2187
End page 2192
Total pages 6
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Informa Healthcare
Language eng
Abstract Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, highly malignant skin tumour of neuroendocrine origin that occurs predominately in elderly people in sun-exposed areas. It exhibits high levels of radiosensitivity and chemosensitivity both in vivo and in vitro. A variety of adverse prognostic factors have been identified which allow more aggressive therapy to be delivered to patients who are at higher risk of recurrence. The most powerful prognostic factor is the presence of nodal secondaries. Local disease should be excised, but there is some controversy over how wide the margins should be. Wide resection margins are not required provided postoperative radiotherapy is used. In the event of inoperable disease, patient refusal of surgery or frailty, radiotherapy can be used as the sole treatment modality, with a high likelihood of achieving local control. Patients with involved nodes have a higher risk of distant disease. Traditionally, involved nodes have been managed with resection but, currently, there are protocols exploring the use of synchronous chemoradiotherapy as definitive treatment. Although adjuvant chemotherapy has been used in this setting to reduce the risk of distant metastases, its role still remains under investigation. The presence of distant disease carries a grave outlook with responses to chemotherapy occurring frequently, albeit of short duration.
Keyword Merkel cell carcinoma
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Tue, 23 Nov 2010, 14:50:40 EST