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Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2012 Dec;26(6):1351-74. doi: 10.1016/j.hoc.2012.08.007. Epub 2012 Oct 9.

Merkel cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco, 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.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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