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J Invest Dermatol. 2007 Sep;127(9):2100-3.

Merkel cell carcinoma: more deaths but still no pathway to blame.

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  • 1University of Washington Dermatology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA.


Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a neuroendocrine skin cancer with a rising incidence (1500 U.S. cases per year) that now exceeds that of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and a mortality (33%) exceeding that of melanoma. Despite this impact, little is known about its biology. Recent studies have shown that Ras/MAP kinase activity is absent and possibly detrimental to this cancer. This makes MCC distinct from other UV--induced skin cancers and highlights the question of what drives this malignancy.

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