Is there a diminishing role for surgery for Merkel cell carcinoma of the skin? A review of current management

Poulsen, M. and Harvey, J. (2002) Is there a diminishing role for surgery for Merkel cell carcinoma of the skin? A review of current management. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Surgery, 72 2: 142-146. doi:10.1046/j.1440-1622.2002.02307.x


Author Poulsen, M.
Harvey, J.
Title Is there a diminishing role for surgery for Merkel cell carcinoma of the skin? A review of current management
Journal name Australia and New Zealand Journal of Surgery   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1445-1433
1445-2197
Publication date 2002-02
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1046/j.1440-1622.2002.02307.x
Volume 72
Issue 2
Start page 142
End page 146
Total pages 5
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Merkel cell carcinoma is a highly malignant skin tumour that must be managed in a multidisciplinary forum. Excisional biopsy of the primary is recommended and this should be followed by postoperative radiotherapy to the primary site, in-transit areas and the draining lymph nodes. The tumour is quite radiosensitive and radiation doses of the order of 50 Gy offer high levels of local control. Resection margins of 3 cm are not required provided postoperative radiotherapy is used. In the event of inoperable disease, patient refusal of surgery or a frail patient, radiotherapy should be used as the sole treatment modality, with 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 seeding, the benefits at this stage have not been confirmed conclusively. The presence of distant disease carries a grave outlook and responses to chemotherapy occur frequently, but are usually shortlived.
Keyword Management
Merkel cell carcinoma
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 13 February 2002. Erratum: Is there a diminishing role for surgery for Merkel cell carcinoma of the skin? A review of current management (vol 72, pg 142, 2002)

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 27 Sep 2012, 15:07:44 EST by Ms Lynette Adams on behalf of Mater Clinical School