Metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma and its treatment options
MCC who have completed initial therapy are at high risk of developing recurrent or metastatic disease. with most occurring within three years of diagnosis. Recurrences are generally associated with a poor prognosis. MCC is a chemosensitive and radiosensitive disease, but in advanced disease, treatment responses are rarely durable and are not clearly associated with better survival. Based on several recent trials of check point inhibitors (pembrolizumab, avelumab, nivolumab and the newest one - retifanlimab) that have shown very promising results with a safe safety profile in chemotherapy patients, immunotherapy has become the new standard of care for advanced MCC.