My father has had CLL for 17 years and has been through a couple of rounds of treatment with good results. He was recently also diagnosed with Merkel Cell carcinoma on his face. He had surgery to remove the tumor and 6 weeks of radiation. About 3 weeks after the radiation ended, the Merkel Cell reoccurred, about an inch higher on his temple. I have been communicating with some of the research centers to see if he can get into a clinical trial. If you read the literature, people with CLL are anywhere from 10 to 40 times more likely than the general population to get this extremely aggressive neuroendocrine cancer. I guess this is because of their suppressed immunity. Anyway, he qualifies for no clinical trials for the Merkel Cell, as people who have CLL are excluded from every one of them. This concerns me greatly, not only for him but for me, as I also have CLL. If I contract Merkel Cell, will my options be similarly limited? I guess it would be difficult to have clinical trials of Merkel Cell drugs for people with both CLL and Merkel Cell (?) but wouldn't it make sense?
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