Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare neuroendocrine malignancy of the skin that is associated with poor survival in patients with metastatic disease. MCC is linked to both Merkel cell polyomavirus infection and ultraviolet sun exposure. Australia has the highest incidence of MCC worldwide with a predominance of non-viral sun induced disease.
Although MCC is radiation and chemotherapy sensitive, responses are short lived in the metastatic setting. Recent advances in immune checkpoint inhibitors and approval of both avelumab and pembrolizumab for metastatic MCC have resulted in dramatic improvement in some patients.
We have established a unique and comprehensive database, and bio-resource that spans all stages of MCC patients who have been treated at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre over the last 4 years (Nov 2014 to present).
To date, 105 patients have been consented, with a large proportion having been followed for greater than 2 years. Currently, there are several ongoing studies involving tumour immune profiling, somatic mutation analysis, viral detection, circulating tumour DNA and RNA, and the generation of preclinical models.
We will present an overall description of the database, our clinical and bio-repository data including Merkel cell polyomavirus status and responses to immunotherapy.