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Gynecol Oncol. 2005 Jun;97(3):928-31.

Merkel cell carcinoma of the Bartholin's gland.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, 450 Clarkson Avenue Box #24, Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA.



There are a few cases of "small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma" of the Bartholin's gland as well as Merkel cell carcinoma of the vulva reported in the gynecologic oncology literature, most with aggressive clinical behavior. Merkel cells were originally described in the epidermis with neuroendocrine properties. Merkel cell carcinoma is different from the neuroendocrine small cell (oat cell) tumor arising in the lung and other internal organs based on morphology and immunohistochemistry.


A 49-year-old female was diagnosed with a FIGO stage I Merkel cell carcinoma of the Bartholin's gland. The tumor originated from the duct and stained with endocrine markers and cytokeratin 7 and 20. She was treated with radical wide local excision and bilateral inguinal lymph node dissection followed by radiation therapy to the pelvis, perineum, vulva, and inguinal regions. Two years after the diagnosis, she is alive with no evidence of recurrent disease.


This is a case of Merkel cell carcinoma of the Bartholin's gland discovered in the early stage with a survival of 2 years following diagnosis and treatment with no evidence of disease recurrence.

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