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Session Information

FRM F011 - Merkel Cell Carcinoma: Diagnosis, Management & Controversies

Open admission to eligible categories, no tuition or ticket


Date: Friday, March 01

CME Credits: 2.00

Location: Room D237/238/239

Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Director: Paul Nghiem, MD, PhD, FAAD


  • Christopher K. Bichakjian, MD, FAAD
  • Klaus J. Busam, MD

Learning Objectives:
Following this course, the attendee should be able to:

  • Identify areas of controversy and consensus regarding the risk factors; incidence; clinical, pathologic, and prognostic characteristics of Merkel cell carcinoma.
  • Analyze data linking the Merkel cell polyomavirus and immune evasion by this cancer to outcomes and emerging therapies.
  • Utilize this information to guide the multidisciplinary management of representative cases.

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a polyomavirus-associated skin cancer with a higher disease-associated mortality (~46%) than melanoma (~15%) and an increasing incidence of ~1600 cases/year in the US. Management is challenging because therapy is different in nature than for other skin malignancies and is controversial within the literature. Multi-disciplinary care involving surgery, radiation, and medical oncology is often indicated. This session will highlight areas of consensus and controversy in the viral etiology, clinical presentation, staging, pathology and evolving management of MCC. Representative and challenging cases will be presented to highlight treatment options and relevant data.


Friday, March 01
10:00 AMIntroduction, Epidemiology, Staging / Dr. Nghiem
10:20 AMPathologic diagnosis, Features and Prognostic implications / Dr. Busam
10:45 AMSurgery, Sentinel lymph node biopsy, Radiation, and Case examples / Dr. Bichakjian
11:15 AMMerkel polyomavirus, immunity and future targeted therapies / Dr. Nghiem
11:40 AMQuestions and Answers / All faculty