Merkel Cell Carcinoma
Due to its rarity, there will likely never be a television advertisement for Merkel cell carcinoma - Gina Mauro
image by: European Cancer Patient Coalition
The history of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) therapy is studied with frustration and poor outcomes to treatments until the introduction of immunotherapy, which has radically changed the therapeutic paradigm of this disease…
The incidence of MCC is slowly but steadily growing worldwide. However, MCC is often misdiagnosed and part of this increase in incidence is probably due to the improvement of diagnostic skills, techniques, and the discovery of new biomarkers.
The history of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) therapy is studied with frustration and poor outcomes to treatments until the introduction of immunotherapy, which has radically changed the therapeutic paradigm of this disease.
We want to raise awareness on this rare but extremely aggressive form of skin cancer known to have a 25 – 40% chance of recurring and spreading (metastasizing) in two to three years after first diagnosis. We encourage everyone to spread the information about the disease and to join the campaign on social media, re-sharing our posts or creating your own.
On this website that we have maintained since 2004, we combine summaries of the best available literature and our experience caring for over 1,000 patients with MCC at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
MCC originates from Merkel cells that have become cancerous. Merkel cells, which are skin cells that convey the sensation of touch, are located at the junction of two skin layers, the dermis and epidermis.
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, aggressive form of skin cancer with a high risk for returning (recurring) and spreading (metastasizing), often within two to three years after initial diagnosis.
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, aggressive neuroendocrine tumor of the skin with increasing incidence. It most frequently presents on the head and neck region of elderly, white males.
The cancer forms in special “Merkel” cells in the skin—a type of neuroendocrine cell that combines qualities from cells of both the nervous and endocrine systems. They’re located near the nerve endings within the skin, and, when functioning normally, help people recognize the sensation when something or someone touches their skin very gently. Merkel cell carcinoma develops when something causes these cells to grow uncontrollably.
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