Merkel Cell Carcinoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Stage IV Merkel Cell Carcinoma
Stage IV Merkel cell carcinoma includes patients with distant metastases.
Chemotherapy may be considered for patients with stage IV disease who have a good performance status. Although responses have been seen with various regimens, evidence is lacking that chemotherapy results in permanent disease control or long-term survival.
The primary treatment of patients with metastatic or recurrent gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) involves medical therapy with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI); in select cases, surgical therapy may be added. Patients with metastatic or recurrent tumors that do not respond to these measures may be candidates for clinical trials.
Therapy with imatinib is standard for patients with metastatic or recurrent disease. The initial dose may range from 400 mg to 600 mg daily, except for patients...
In stage IV patients for whom chemotherapy is not considered an appropriate option, surgery and/or radiation therapy may be considered for local or regional palliation.
Standard treatment options:
Palliation with chemotherapy and/or surgery and/or radiation therapy as clinically appropriate.
Treatment options under clinical evaluation:
Enrollment in clinical trials is strongly 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 IV 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.