Merkel Cell Carcinoma: Updates on Staging and Management

Dermatol Clin. 2019 Jul;37(3):269-277. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2019.03.001. Epub 2019 Apr 19.


Merkel cell carcinoma is an aggressive neuroendocrine carcinoma with increasing incidence over the past few decades. The TNM Staging System used for Merkel cell carcinoma was updated by the American Joint Committee on Cancer in 2017. Clinical practice guidelines were updated by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network on August 31, 2018. This article reviews the most recent evidence-based updates on staging and management.

Keywords: Immune checkpoint inhibitors; Merkel cell carcinoma; Merkel cell polyomavirus; Mohs micrographic surgery; Sentinel lymph node biopsy; Staging; Wide local excision.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Merkel Cell / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Merkel Cell / secondary*
  • Carcinoma, Merkel Cell / therapy*
  • Dermatologic Surgical Procedures
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis
  • Neoplasm Staging*
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents