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Merkel Cell Carcinoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Stage I and II Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Stage I and II Merkel cell carcinoma include patients with local disease only.

Standard treatment options:

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General Information About Carcinoma of Unknown Primary

The site of origin of a histologically documented carcinoma is not identified clinically in approximately 3% of patients; this situation is often referred to as carcinoma of unknown primary (CUP) origin or occult primary malignancy.[1,2,3,4,5,6] Prognosis and Survival The definition of a CUP varies from study to study; however, at a minimum, this determination should include a biopsy of the tumor and a thorough history and complete physical examination that includes head and neck, rectal,...

Read the General Information About Carcinoma of Unknown Primary article > >

  1. Margin-negative local excision, attempting to maintain function.
  2. Surgical nodal evaluation, typically by sentinel node procedure initially, may be considered for patients thought to have significant risk of nodal disease. Completion of the nodal dissection may be considered if positive nodes are found, which would upstage the patient to stage III.
  3. Local radiation may be considered if there is concern about the adequacy of the primary tumor excision margin. Regional radiation may be considered if the nodal staging procedure is incomplete or omitted. For sites where the location of primary regional nodes may be uncertain (e.g., mid-back), regional-node field selection would be problematic.

Treatment options under clinical evaluation:

  • Enrollment in clinical trials is encouraged.

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage I neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin and stage II neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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