Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Radiation best treatment for rare skin cancer, study finds

Date:
May 7, 2014
Source:
Kaiser Permanente
Summary:
Radiation treatment can help reduce the recurrence of Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare and aggressive skin cancer, while chemotherapy does not appear to have any impact on recurrence or survival, according to a study. The study presents one of the largest single-institution datasets on Merkel cell carcinoma, which occurs in about 1,500 people in the United States annually. Most such cancers occur on the sun-exposed skin of white males and are first diagnosed at age 75, on average.

Radiation treatment can help reduce the recurrence of Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare and aggressive skin cancer, while chemotherapy does not appear to have any impact on recurrence or survival, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published online in the current issue of JAMA Dermatology.

The study presents one of the largest single-institution datasets on Merkel cell carcinoma, which occurs in about 1,500 people in the United States annually. Most such cancers occur on the sun-exposed skin of white males and are first diagnosed at age 75, on average. Using the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Cancer Registry, the researchers found that out of 218 cases of Kaiser Permanente patients who had Merkel cell carcinoma, those who had radiation treatment had a 70 percent lower risk of disease recurrence while chemotherapy did not appear to have any impact on recurrence or survival.

"We used our database to show what characteristics impact recurrence and survival in this very rare cancer," said the study's lead author Maryam M. Asgari, MD, MPH, of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research. "The electronic records allowed us to identify patients with Merkel cell carcinoma, see how they were diagnosed and treated, and then follow them over time to see how their care affected their outcomes."

Using an electronic health record system, Kaiser Permanente HealthConnectฎ, allowed the researchers to evaluate the relationships between cancer recurrence and survival with demographic information (age, sex, race, immunosuppression) and tumor characteristics (extent, size and location), as well as cancer work-ups (pathologic lymph node evaluation, imaging) and treatments (surgery, radiation and chemotherapy).

The study results also showed that immunosuppression and more advanced tumors were associated with worse survival rates related to Merkel cell carcinoma, and that pathological evaluation of the patient's lymph nodes also had a significant impact on outcomes.

Asgari noted that the success of different work-up and treatment protocols has been difficult to compare for rare cancers. "This research should help dermatologists and oncologists in caring for their patients with Merkel cell carcinomas," she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kaiser Permanente. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Maryam M. Asgari, Monica M. Sokil, E. Margaret Warton, Jayasri Iyer, Kelly G. Paulson, Paul Nghiem. Effect of Host, Tumor, Diagnostic, and Treatment Variables on Outcomes in a Large Cohort With Merkel Cell Carcinoma. JAMA Dermatology, 2014; DOI: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.8116

Cite This Page:

Kaiser Permanente. "Radiation best treatment for rare skin cancer, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140507165154.htm>.
Kaiser Permanente. (2014, May 7). Radiation best treatment for rare skin cancer, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140507165154.htm
Kaiser Permanente. "Radiation best treatment for rare skin cancer, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140507165154.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) — West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) — Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins