Monday, November 5, 2012

Merkel cell carcinoma.

Merkel cell carcinoma.

Dec 2012


Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco, 1701 Divisadero Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.


Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare but aggressive carcinoma of the skin, arising most commonly in sun-exposed sites of elderly patients. The diagnosis is based on characteristic histopathologic features. In 2008, the discovery of the Merkel cell polyomavirus led to intensified research into the viral pathogenesisis of MCC. MCC staging guidelines were established in 2010, and it demonstrated the importance of distinguishing clinical vs. pathologic evaluation of lymph nodes in MCC. Surgery and/or radiation is of the mainstay of therapy for early disease, while chemotherapy is reserved for more advanced disease. Treatments based on immunologic mechanisms are currently in development.