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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2010 May;24(5):601-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2009.03458.x. Epub 2009 Nov 9.

Multiple primary malignancies in patients with Merkel cell carcinoma.

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1
Department of Dermatology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare malignant cutaneous tumour, the incidence of which is increasing. Second malignancies have been reported to occur with high incidence in these patients.

OBJECTIVES:

We report the rate and nature of multiple malignancies in patients with MCC treated over a 10 year period in Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, United Kingdom, as well as the temporal relationship of these additional malignancies to the diagnosis of MCC.

RESULTS:

The 27 patients had an approximately equal sex incidence with a median age at diagnosis of 79 years. Seventy percent (n=19) of patients had a second primary malignant tumour; and 7 of these patients had two or more tumours in addition to the MCC. Eighteen patients had additional cutaneous malignancies: melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, and 8 patients presented non-cutaneous malignancy including colorectal, haematological and breast tumours. Of the 28 additional tumours in our patients, half were diagnosed prior to presentation of MCC, 32% within 6 months of diagnosis, and 18% between 6 months and 3 years after diagnosis. Possible reasons for the high rate of additional tumours in this population are discussed.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our figures reflect a higher incidence of multiple malignancies in those with Merkel cell tumour than has previously been reported. This has important implications for the care and surveillance of these patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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