Merkel cell carcinoma

Merkel cell carcinoma overview

You are at the center of everything we do at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). Here, we surround you with a team of specialists who work together closely to provide expertly targeted, complete care and compassionate support throughout your treatment and beyond.

We guide you every step of the way, combining our deep clinical expertise in Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) with a commitment to meet your unique needs.

Why choose SCCA? 

  • World-renown Merkel cell carcinoma experts
    We have one of the most active MCC clinical and research programs in the world, led by Paul Nghiem, MD. Dr. Nghiem is a dermatologist and scientist at the forefront of MCC care. Our team of experts also includes surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists at our Multidisciplinary Skin Oncology Clinic.
  • Merkel cell carcinoma-specialized surgeons
    Our skin cancer surgeon team includes experts in surgical oncology, reconstruction and head and neck surgery. This team specializes in the treatment of MCC and you can feel confident knowing that the surgeon who cares for you is best-suited for your specific diagnosis.
  • Where you’re treated first matters most
    Studies have shown that patients evaluated and treated at a multidisciplinary cancer center, like SCCA, have better outcomes — and that the first treatment you receive for cancer is by far the most important. Patients who begin treatment at SCCA often have better outcomes than those who started treatment elsewhere.
  • A national leader in cancer care
    SCCA is the leading cancer treatment center in the region and among the top nationally, according to U.S. News & World Report. 
  • NCI comprehensive cancer center
    We are a comprehensive cancer center, a designation from the National Cancer Institute that reflects our scientific leadership and the depth and breadth of our research to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.


Our experienced doctors are well known for providing innovative Merkel cell carcinoma treatments, including immunotherapy, vaccine protocols and gene therapy as well as surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. 


At SCCA, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a team coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.

Clinical trials

SCCA unites the leading researchers and cancer specialists of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medicine so you can take part in MCC clinical studies not available everywhere. SCCA was a leading clinical trial site for avelumab (Bavencio), the first treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for metastatic MCC.