Does Preop Staging With Imaging Impact Management of Merkel Cell Carcinoma?
Preoperative staging with cross-sectional imaging does not influence management in localized Merkel cell carcinoma
By Dermsquared Editorial Team | November 20, 2023
MONDAY, Nov. 20, 2023 -- For patients with clinically localized Merkel cell carcinoma, preoperative staging with cross-sectional imaging does not influence surgical management, according to a study published in the November issue of SKIN.
Natalie Garcia, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine, and colleagues examined how preoperative staging with cross-sectional imaging influences management of patients with clinically localized Merkel cell carcinoma in a study involving 97 patients evaluated between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2020. Eighty-four of the patients had preoperative staging studies.
The researchers found that the clinical characteristics of the patients did not differ based on whether staging was performed. Positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT), CT, and magnetic resonance imaging were performed in 52, 51, and 31 patients (67, 62, and 41 percent, respectively). Five patients had indeterminate findings (all on PET/CT); no patients were identified for whom preoperative staging changed the plan for surgical resection.
"Based on these findings, more selective use of preoperative imaging staging may be warranted," the authors write. "Future work should seek to characterize risk factors for clinically occult metastases which could be used to refine current guidelines for preoperative staging."