Disease Overview


Metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (mMCC) is an aggressive disease with poor survival after distant metastasis1,2

5-year survival by stage3

  • Stage I


  • Stage II


  • Stage III


  • Stage IV


MCC is rare, but the incidence is growing4,5

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  • Patients with early stage disease often experience recurrence and develop metastasis6,7


Early treatment can improve outcomes—however, clinical diagnosis of MCC is often delayed because of the non-specific presentation of MCC3

The acronym AEIOU was devised to help recall relevant clinical features of MCC and the patient

  • A


  • E

    Expanding rapidly

  • I


  • O

    >50 years of age

  • U


References: 1. Chapter 30, Merkel cell carcinoma. In: Edge SB, Byrd DR, Compton CC, et al, eds. AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 7th ed. New York, NY: Springer, 2010:315-323. 2. Lemos BD, Storer BE, Iyer JG, et al. Pathologic nodal evaluation improves prognostic accuracy in Merkel cell carcinoma: analysis of 5823 cases as the basis of the first consensus staging system. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010;63(5):751-761. 3. Becker JC, Stang A, DeCaprio JA, et al. Merkel cell carcinoma. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2017 Oct 26;3:17077. doi:10.1038/nrdp.2017.77. 4. Paulson KG, Park SY, Vandeven NA, et al. Merkel cell carcinoma: current US incidence and projected increases based on changing demographics. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018;78:457-463. 5. Kaufman HL, Russell J, Hamid O, et al. Avelumab in patients with chemotherapy-refractory metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma: a multicentre, single-group, open-label, phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2016;17(10):1374-1385. 6. Poulsen M, Rischin D, Walpole E, et at; Trans-Tasman Radiation Oncology Group. High-risk Merkel cell carcinoma of the skin treated with synchronous carboplatin/etoposide and radiation: a Trans-Tasman Radiation Oncology Group Study-TROG 96:07. J Clin Oncol. 2003;21(23):4371-4376. 7. Cowey CL, Mahnke L, Espirito J, et al. Real-world treatment outcomes in patients with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma treated with chemotherapy in the USA. Future Oncol. 2017;13(19):1699-1710.