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Cancer Causes Control. 2011 Nov;22(11):1521-7. doi: 10.1007/s10552-011-9826-4. Epub 2011 Aug 20.

Merkel cell carcinoma: a population-based study on mortality and the association with other cancers.

Author information

1
Dipartimento di Scienze Radiologiche, Oncologiche e Anatomo-Patologiche, Università La Sapienza, Viale Regina Elena 324, Rome, Italy. valeria.ascoli@uniroma1.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Few population-based epidemiological data are available on Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a rare lethal non-melanoma skin cancer. We analysed multiple-cause-of-death records to describe MCC mortality and trends and the association with other primary cancers.

METHODS:

We reviewed all 6,713,059 death certificates in Italy (1995-2006) to identify those mentioning MCC. We evaluated the association with other primary cancers by calculating the ratio of observed to expected deaths, using a standardized mortality ratio (SMR)-like analysis. We also evaluated the geographic distribution of deaths.

RESULTS:

We identified 351 death certificates with the mention of MCC. The age-adjusted mortality was 0.031/100,000, with a significant trend of increase and a slight north-south gradient. There was a significant deficit for solid cancers (SMR = 0.15) and a non-significant excess for lymphohematopoietic malignancies (SMR = 1.62). There were significant excesses for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (SMR = 4.07) and Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (SMR = 27.2) and a non-significant excess for chronic myeloid leukemia (SMR = 5.12).

CONCLUSIONS:

The increase in MCC mortality reflects the incidence trend in the literature. The association with chronic lymphocytic leukemia confirms the importance of immunologic factors in MCC. Regarding Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, an association with MCC has never been reported.

PMID:
21858506
PMCID:
PMC3193515
DOI:
10.1007/s10552-011-9826-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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