Merkel Cell Carcinoma, the Impact of Clinical Excision Margins and Mohs Micrographic Surgery on Recurrence and Survival: A Systematic Review

Sanne E. Uitentuis, Caroline Bambach, Yannick S. Elshot, Jacqueline Limpens, Alexander C. J. van Akkooi, Marcel W. Bekkenk

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: When treating Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), the relation between wide local excision (WLE) margin and recurrence or survival is unclear. Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) is an alternative surgical option for MCC, but it is unknown whether the local recurrence rate differs between MMS and WLE. OBJECTIVE: To systematically assess the available literature to determine the recurrence and survival rates when treating MCC with MMS and different clinical excision margins. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CENTRAL databases were searched. Two independent reviewers selected studies that defined clear excision margins and either recurrence or survival. When possible, individual cases were extracted from case series and included in the analyses. Other studies were reviewed narratively. RESULTS: Overall, 1108 studies were identified; of which, 19 case series (168 cases) and 12 cohort studies were eligible. None of the cohort studies showed significant differences in recurrence or survival for either excision margins or MMS. Equally, logistic and Cox regression analyses of the case series revealed no significant differences in recurrence or survival between different excision margins and MMS. CONCLUSION: Synthesis of the available data does not indicate differences in recurrence and/or survival rates for MCC between different clinical excision margins and MMS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-394
Number of pages8
JournalDermatologic surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022

Cite this