The Mayo Clinic Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery's Division of Head and Neck Cancer and Reconstructive Surgery is improving the understanding of high-risk skin cancers by finding new ways to identify the "bad actors" hidden as indolent tumors and treating advanced tumors with novel approaches, minimal surgery and maximal impact.
Division researchers have recently investigated sentinel lymph node biopsy outcomes in both patients with Merkel cell carcinoma and patients who have previously undergone wide local excision of their melanomas. Studies using neoadjuvant immunotherapy in advanced resectable melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma are ongoing.
The division's skin cancer research is carried out in cooperation with the Mayo Clinic Division of Medical Oncology and Department of Radiation Oncology and Mayo's Mohs surgery team. Multidisciplinary collaboration allows for unique perspectives on the care and management of patients with complex skin cancers and on treatments or cures that minimally impact facial aesthetics and function.