Soundbites: Merkel cell cancer doctor, patient

February 16, 2018

Soundbites: Merkel cell cancer doctor, patient

Frisco, Texas, resident Steve Murphy, 66, was diagnosed last September with Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare skin cancer he’d never heard of.  His grim prognosis: 50 percent chance of surviving 90 days. Today he flies to Seattle twice a month for immunotherapy in a clinical trial, and is responding well. 

His first contact at UW Medicine, dermatologist Paul Nghiem, is a senior author of a research paper announced today by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.  The findings project a steep near-term increase in Merkel cell cancer, which is much more often fatal than melanoma. The main reason for the rise: aging baby boomers.

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