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Our Approach to Merkel Cell Carcinoma

  • At Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), we treat patients from across the country and around the world for the treatment of Merkel cell carcinoma. We also serve as a leading center for research on this rare type of skin cancer.

    Our patients have full access to DF/BWCC's world-renowned academic medical community, with its diverse specialists and state-of-the-art facilities. Using the latest diagnostic and treatment modalities, our Merkel cell carcinoma experts develop individualized treatment plans for newly diagnosed patients, and we closely monitor patients who have completed their therapy.

    Our Multidisciplinary Team Approach

    Patients with Merkel cell carcinoma often require a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. A multidisciplinary team approach that can coordinate all care is the best way to manage these complicated cases. Working together as one singularly-focused team, our specialists help Merkel cell carcinoma patients get better faster — with improved outcomes and fewer post-treatment problems.

    DF/BWCC's Merkel cell carcinoma specialists have deep expertise treating this complex disease. Skilled colleagues in surgical oncology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology – as well as other specialties associated with Dana-Farber's Cutaneous Cancer Treatment Center — work closely together to develop a personalized plan that is best for each patient.

    Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center also offers clinical trials for Merkel cell carcinoma patients. See trials that are currently enrolling, below.

    A Phase 2, Open-Label, Single-Arm Study of KRT-232 in Patients with p53 Wild-Type (p53WT) Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC) Who Have Failed Anti-PD-1 or Anti-PD-L1 Immunotherapy

    A Phase 2 Study of Talimogene laherparepvec Followed by Talimogene laherparepvec + Nivolumab in Refractory T Cell and NK Cell Lymphomas, Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Merkel Cell Carcinoma, and Other Rare Skin Tumors

    A multicenter, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, Phase 3 trial of adjuvant Avelumab (anti-PDL-1 antibody) in Merkel cell carcinoma patients with clinically detected lymph node metastases

    Our Dedicated Experts

    Our multidisciplinary Merkel cell carcinoma treatment team includes surgical oncologists, medical and radiation oncologists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, nutritionists, dermatopathologists, and anesthesiologists. From diagnosis to treatment to recovery, our team members work closely and collaboratively with patients and families.

    • The surgical oncologists at DF/BWCC provide the world's most advanced and innovative multidisciplinary care for patients with Merkel cell carcinoma. Our surgical oncologists are among the world's leading surgical specialists treating complex and advanced-stage Merkel cell carcinoma.
    • DF/BWCC’s dermatopathologists are among the best in the world, with special expertise in diagnosing rare cases. This is extremely important as the patient’s treatment plan is guided by the diagnosis.
    • Our plastic and reconstructive surgeons are pioneers in ground-breaking procedures. The size and experience of our group allow us to tailor specific, individual care to each patient.
    • Dedicated patient coordinators ensure that you understand your care plan, and help you set up appointments with various specialists. And support staff from many non-clinical services provide a wide range of support services and amenities — to help patients and families before, during, and after treatment.
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  • Merkel Cell Carcinoma Research

    Learn more about Merkel cell carinoma research at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center and the work conducted by the DeCaprio Lab, led by James DeCaprio, MD.