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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1993 Aug;29(2 Pt 1):143-56.

Merkel cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor.


Merkel cell carcinoma is a malignant neuroendocrine tumor with features of epithelial differentiation. Biologically aggressive, it may be difficult to diagnose and, particularly in its late stages, even more difficult to treat effectively. This article addresses what is known and what is still controversial about the histogenesis, diagnosis, and management of Merkel cell carcinoma and the structure and function of the Merkel cell from which it is believed to be derived. The incidence, clinical presentation and diagnosis, ultrastructure, immunocytochemistry, treatment, and prognosis of this tumor will be discussed.

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