Merkel cell carcinoma overview
You are at the center of everything we do at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. 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 Fred Hutch?
- 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 Fred Hutch, have better outcomes — and that the first treatment you receive for cancer is by far the most important. Patients who begin treatment at Fred Hutch often have better outcomes than those who started treatment elsewhere.
- A national leader in cancer care
Fred Hutch 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.
For someone who’s been wrestling with a rare and aggressive cancer for eight years, Keith Lang is a very upbeat guy. “I'm a firm believer in being positive and happy,” says Lang. “If you can’t do that, you can’t fight a good fight.”
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer. A quick diagnosis and appropriate treatment are essential to cure this disease. Fred Hutch offers comprehensive treatment from a team of experts who specialize in MCC.
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 Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes physicians, a patient care 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.
We unite 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. Fred Hutch was a leading clinical trial site for avelumab (Bavencio), the first treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for metastatic MCC.
There are many resources online for learning about your disease. Health educators at the Fred Hutch Patient and Family Resource Center have compiled a list of trusted sources to help you get started.