Oral etoposide in Merkel cell carcinoma

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Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a very infrequent and aggressive skin tumor with high recurrence and metastasis rates. MCC treatment is currently not well defined.

Case presentation

We present the case of a 75-year-old woman who was diagnosed with MCC in 2010 and suffered a third relapse in 2012 which could not be treated surgically.


The patient began oral etoposide treatment reaching complete response after eight cycles and receiving a total of 11 cycles. As side effects, the patient suffered from neutropenia, candidiasis and mucositis, but after reducing the dosage to 50% it was well tolerated.


Chemotherapy treatment in this setting is poorly defined. In this case, monotherapy treatment with oral etoposide was decided due to the patient’s age and comorbidities, achieving a very positive outcome.

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