Information and Instructions About Participating
in Merkel Cell Carcinoma Research
Thank you for your interest in participating in our Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) research. As you may know, MCC is a rare skin cancer with only about 1600 cases per year in the United States. Currently, there are no widely accepted guidelines for how patients should ideally be managed, and as a result, patients are being treated with different combinations of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Further, little is known about what causes this cancer, and no effective therapies exist for advanced disease. Thus, we are conducting both clinical and basic science research to better understand MCC.
We have created a research program that includes both clinical and basic science studies. We have a database of clinical information (i.e., medical records) and a tissue and blood bank that contains samples from patients with MCC. These are being used to study what causes this cancer and to find better treatments for MCC.
We currently are enrolling people in research who have had evidence of MCC within the past 6 months. You can participate by sharing your relevant clinical data (medical records on MCC) and one or more of the following:
- Tumor tissue left-over from your initial biopsy - with your permission, we may request a small left-over portion of your original biopsy (that is now stored in a pathology lab) be sent to us for research
- Tumor tissue left-over from a future biopsy or excision - if you have not had your tumor completely removed yet or should it recur, you can have a left-over portion of your tumor sent to us at the time of surgery
- Blood sample - you can have blood drawn (about 3oz or 100 milliliters) and sent to us
Instructions for Participation
If you would like to participate in our research, and have had evidence of MCC within the past six months, please call us at 206-221-4594 for more information and instructions. Your participation will require YOU to obtain your medical records relevant to MCC from your physician(s). For patient safety reasons we cannot provide medical advice to patients we have not seen.
Paul Nghiem, MD, PhD
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