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Samuel W. Beenken and Marshall M. Urist

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) or neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin is uncommon, often aggressive, and has a poor prognosis. Complete surgical excision with histologic documentation of clear resection margins is recommended for the primary cancer. Retrospective analysis of clinical data strongly suggests that adjuvant radiotherapy improves local control of MCC, but no evidence has been published that it prolongs survival. Sentinel lymph node biopsy is a useful method of determining the need for regional lymph node dissection in stage I patients. Chemotherapy regimens similar to those employed for small cell carcinoma of the lung have been recommended for advanced MCC. Patients often show an initial response to therapy, but it is usually short-lived. The three-year overall survival for patients with MCC is 31%. Before an improvement in long-term survival can be realized, early detection, appropriate use of surgery and radiation therapy, and the development of effective systemic chemotherapy are required.

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Thomas Olencki

carcinoma of the skin): a Southwest Oncology Group study (S0331) . Am J Clin Oncol 2010 ; 33 : 495 – 499 .

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Frank Qian Zhan, Vathani Sharon Packianathan, and Nathalie Charlotte Zeitouni

. Complete spontaneous regression in Merkel cell carcinoma . J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 2008 ; 61 : 165 – 171 . 20 Kayashima K Ono T Johno M . Spontaneous regression in Merkel cell (neuroendocrine) carcinoma of the skin . Arch Dermatol

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Ata S. Moshiri and Paul Nghiem

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), or primary neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin, is an aggressive cutaneous malignancy with 3 times the disease-specific mortality of melanoma (46% vs 15%). 1 The annual incidence is approximately 1500 cases in the