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Merkel Cell Carcinoma Rates Increasing in US

J Am Acad Dermatol; ePub 2017 Nov 1; Paulson, et al

An aging population is driving brisk increases in the number of new Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) cases in the US, a recent study found. This growing impact, combined with a rapidly evolving therapeutic landscape, warrants expanded awareness of MCC diagnosis and management. Registry data were obtained from the SEER-18 database, containing 6,600 MCC cases. Age and sex-adjusted projections were generated utilizing US census data. Researchers found:

  • Between 2000-2013, there was a 95% increase in the number of reported MCC cases, compared to 57% for melanoma and 15% for all “solid” cancers.
  • In 2013, the MCC incidence rate was 0.7 per 100,000 person-years in the US, corresponding to 2,488 cases.
  • MCC incidence increased exponentially with age, from 0.1 to 1.0 to 9.8 (per 100,000 person-years) between age groups 40-44, 60-64, and >85 years, respectively.
  • Due to aging of the Baby Boom generation, US MCC incidence is predicted to climb to 2,835 cases in 2020 and 3,284 cases in 2025.

Citation:

Paulson KG, Park SY, Vandeven NA, et al. Merkel cell carcinoma: Current United States incidence and projected increases based on changing demographics. [Published online ahead of print November 1, 2017]. J Am Acad Dermatol. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2017.10.028.