Send to

Choose Destination
J Dermatol Sci. 2000 Dec;24(3):203-11.

Spontaneous regression of merkel cell carcinoma: a comparative study of TUNEL index and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes between spontaneous regression and non-regression group.

Author information

Department of Dermatology, Akita University School of Medicine, 1-1-1 Hondo, 010-8543, Akita, Japan.


Some Merkel cell carcinomas (MCC) have been reported to regress spontaneously. To clarify the mechanisms of spontaneous regression (SR) of MCC, we analyzed the TUNEL index, the labeling index of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), the labeling index of bcl-2 protein, and the expression of p53 of the tumor cells. We also evaluated the number of infiltrating lymphocytes surrounding the tumor in the tissue specimens. Among seven patients with MCC (SR: n=4; non-regression (NR): n=3), the TUNEL index in the SR group was significantly higher than that in NR group (5.2 and 2.0%, respectively). In addition, the number of lymphocytes around the tumor nests was also significantly increased in the SR group compared to NR group (1576 and 663 cells/mm(2), respectively). Most of the infiltrating lymphocytes were UCHL-1 positive T-cells. There were no significant differences of the PCNA labeling index, the bcl-2 protein labeling index, and the expression p53 between SR and NR group. These results indicate that apoptosis and local T-cell mediated immune response might be involved in spontaneous regression of MCC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center