Skin cancer is the most prevalent of all cancers in the United States. Merkel cell carcinoma — also known as neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin — is a rare and aggressive type characterized by a flesh- or bluish-red-colored nodule. It develops in the sun-exposed areas of your skin and has a high likelihood of spreading to the rest of your body.
Studies have shown that incidence rates of Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer, have been rising quickly over the past few decades. About 2,000 cases of MCC are diagnosed in the United States each year.
— American Cancer Society
Merkel cells — which act like a combination of a nerve cell and hormone-producing cell — are located at the base of the epidermis (the outer layer of your skin).
City of Hope’s team of internationally trained dermatologists and dermatopathologists uses their clinical experience, expertise and leading-edge technology to provide you with the most accurate diagnosis for Merkel cell carcinoma.
City of Hope’s approach to treating skin cancer starts with a coordinated, multidisciplinary care team whose primary goal is offering you the best, most individualized treatment plan for Merkel cell carcinoma.
Skin cancer is a disease that can appear in different ways in the body. Research at City of Hope — driven by patient-specific, individualized treatment strategies — is focused on those differences and on designing therapies that affect how skin cancer develops, progresses and spreads.
Getting treated for skin cancer at City of Hope means you are steps away from labs where new cancer treatments are being developed every day. That proximity means you benefit from something unique in cancer care — bench-to-bedside treatment.
City of Hope is internationally recognized for its research and breakthrough treatments, has been named one of America’s top cancer hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for more than a decade.
Our Commitment To Providing Exceptional Care Includes:
Promising new therapies as part of our clinical trials program, including novel intralesional injection therapies. These include studying commercially approved agents such as TVEC, an oncolytic virus that directly targets melanoma tumors with other therapies.
Collaboration with the Melanoma Research Foundation, National Clinical Trials Network, Cytokine Working Group, SWOG Cancer Research Network, and Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network, providing quick access to the newest therapies and clinical trials
Deep experience with immunotherapy-based treatments — including pivotal clinical trials for widely used drugs like ipilimumab, nivolumab and pembrolizumab
Expertise with isolated limb infusion, a focused chemotherapy treatment unavailable at most other cancer centers
Our internationally trained dermatopathologist combines clinical experience with leading-edge technology to provide the most accurate diagnosis.
Tumor testing and customized drug therapy tailored to the molecular profile of specific skin cancers
Expertise in advanced facial reconstructive and microvascular procedures for patients with complex skin cancers
Survivorship clinics — including physical therapy for lymphedema-related side effects — provide support and monitoring throughout the disease.
Your care includes regular interaction and input from a team that includes oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, dermatologists and pathologists, along with nurses, social workers and specially trained support staff.
City of Hope is one of only a few dozen centers in the U.S. using a comprehensive approach by a multidisciplinary team whose sole focus is treating skin cancer.
Assistant Clinical Professor, Division of Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery; Head and Neck Surgeon
Duarte - Main Campus
Robert Kang, M.D., brings his highly skilled expertise in advanced facial reconstructive and microvascular procedures to patients with complex and challenging head and neck cancers at City of Hope's comprehensive cancer center.
Vijay Trisal, M.D., the Dr. Norman & Melinda Payson Professor in Medicine and chief medical officer at City of Hope, is an advocate for individualized patient care and expanding access to City of Hope’s advanced therapies and specialized physicians across local communities.
Alex K. Wong, M.D., is a plastic surgeon and chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery. As a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Wong specializes in reconstruction of defects and complex wounds after cancer treatment and surgery.