What Is the Ideal Resection Margin in Head and Neck Merkel Cell Carcinoma?
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare neurocutaneous malignancy, most commonly occurring in the head and neck. Although definitive treatment most often consists of surgical excision, the management of head and neck MCC provides a unique surgical challenge due to the complex anatomy and the functional and cosmetic implications of treatment. Although strong evidence for head and neck MCC surgical margin recommendations are lacking, a surgical resection margin of up to 1–2 cm may be considered adequate without compromising disease control. While obtaining negative margins is an objective in oncologic surgery, it should not be pursued if there will be significant delays to adjuvant therapy, as current data suggest that margin status may not have an impact on disease control in patients receiving adjuvant therapy.