Merkel Cell Carcinoma of the Skin


4.7 out of 5 (1523 Reviews)



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Start Date

1 Sep 2023

Last Review Date

1 Sep 2023

Expiration Date

31 Aug 2026

Estimated Time To Finish

60 Minutes

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Activity Description

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, aggressive neuroendocrine tumor of the skin with increasing incidence. It most frequently presents on the head and neck region of elderly, white males. Specific risk factors include ultraviolet (UV) exposure, advancing age, and immunosuppression, and its development is associated with Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) infection. Skin biopsy is diagnostic, and sentinel lymph node evaluation should be performed in all patients who are diagnosed with MCC, as the disease typically has a rapidly progressive course. Treatment consists of wide local excision with or without adjuvant radiotherapy for the local disease. New therapies for metastatic MCC have shown promise and include immune-based therapies. This activity illustrates the evaluation and treatment of the patients presenting with Merkel cell carcinoma and reviews the role of the interprofessional team in improving care for patients with this condition.

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, physician associates, nurses, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be better able to:

  • Review the most common risk factors associated with development of Merkel cell carcinoma.

  • Identify the indications for sentinel lymph node biopsy or fine need aspiration in the work-up of Merkel cell carcinoma.

  • Explain the common physical exam findings in patients with Merkel cell carcinoma.

  • Explain the importance of collaboration and communication amongst the interprofessional team to ensure rapid detection, complete work-up, and initiation of appropriate therapy for patients with Merkel cell carcinoma.


StatPearls, LLC requires everyone who influences the content of an educational activity to disclose relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies that have occurred within the past 24 months. Ineligible companies are organizations whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients. All relevant conflict(s) of interest have been mitigated. Hover over contributor names for financial disclosures. Others involved in planning this educational activity have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

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Continuing Education Accreditation Information

In support of improving patient care, StatPearls, LLC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.


Physicians and Physician Associates: StatPearls, LLC designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians and PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

American Board of Internal Medicine: Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 1.00 MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. It is the CME activity provider’s responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.

American Board of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery: Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn their required annual part II self-assessment credit in the American Board of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery’s Continuing Certification program (formerly known as MOC). It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of recognizing participation.

American Board of Pathology: Successful completion of this Continuing Certification activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 1.00 Lifelong Learning (CME) credits in the American Board of Pathology’s Continuing Certification Program.

American Board of Surgery: Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the learner to earn credit toward the CME and Self-Assessment requirement(s) of the American Board of Surgery’s Continuous Certification program. It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit learner completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABS credit.

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada: Through an agreement between the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, medical practitioners participating in the Royal College MOC Program may record completion of accredited activities registered under the ACCME’s “CME in Support of MOC” program in Section 3 of the Royal College’s MOC Program.

Please consult your professional licensing board for information on the applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity.

Method of Participation and Credit

  1. Register for the activity.    
  2. Review the target audience, learning objectives, and disclosure information.
  3. Study the educational content of the enduring material.
  4. Choose the best answer to each activity test question. To receive credit and a certificate, you must pass the test questions with a minimum score of 100%.
  5. Complete the post-activity assessment survey.

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This educational activity was planned and produced in accordance with the ACCME Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Faculty may discuss investigational products or off-label uses of products regulated by the FDA. Readers should verify all information before employing any therapies described in this educational activity.

The information provided for this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical/clinical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The information presented does not necessarily reflect the views of StatPearls or any commercial supporters of educational activities on StatPearls expressly disclaims responsibility for any adverse consequences resulting directly or indirectly from information in the course, for undetected error, or through a participant's misunderstanding of the content.

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Cancellation Policy: Please see the cancellation policy. StatPearls, LLC reserves the right to cancel any course due to unforeseen circumstances.




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Excellent topic!

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Leah B. on 9/8/2023

pertinent study topics. like the teaching summaries.

Ethan P. on 9/7/2023

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Harlan H. on 9/7/2023

Current celebrities dealing with health issues are great ways to learn - and earn CMEs (ie comedian Bernie Mac and Sarcoid, politician John McCain and glioblastoma). Keep up the good work.

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Thank you. And God bless Jimmy Buffett.

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Leslie L. on 9/14/2023

pictures of lesion would be helpful

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Information was very informative.

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on 9/15/2023

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CHAULA P. on 9/18/2023

Thank you

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Appreciated the detail in epidemiology, diagnosis and therapy for this disease.

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Christopher H. on 9/25/2023

Thank you for these well-researched teaching summaries of timely topics

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Very helpful materials with relevant questions

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excellent exercise!!

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Clinical cases broaden the essential key points of the article.

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Excellent program

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Good job!

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Please report my activity/credit to ABIM for MOC

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