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Otorinolaringologia 2017 March;67(1):1-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4938.16.02102-8

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Recent advances and treatment recommendations in the management of Merkel cell carcinoma

Gerhard F. HUBER 1, Oliver RIESTERER 2, Kristian IKENBERG 3, Marius BREDELL 4, Tamara RORDORF 5

1 ENT-Department, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; 2 Department for Radiooncology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; 3 Institute of Pathology and Molecular Pathology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; 4 Department Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; 5 Department for Clinical Oncology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland


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Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is one of the most aggressive skin malignancies. Many studies have shown that the best oncological treatment of MCC consists of wide local excision and adjuvant radiotherapy due to the tumour’s radio-sensitivity. However, only a low percentage of MCC is recognized before excision and functional as well as aesthetic concerns in the head and neck region mean that wide surgical excision is associated with higher morbidity than in other locations (limbs or torso). Likewise, since MCC is an orphan disease, published series tend to be small retrospective chart reviews; indeed, large, prospective, randomized multicentre studies, which might help to identify predictive histopathological and molecular factors and their impact on treatment and outcome are still lacking.


KEY WORDS: Carcinoma, Merkel cell - Review - Skin

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