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Merkel Cell Carcinoma Treatment (PDQ®)

Health Professional Version

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.

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.

  • Updated: March 7, 2014