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Merkel Cell Carcinoma
Nayela Keen, MD; Christine M. Glastonbury, MBBS
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KEY FACTS

  • Terminology

    • Imaging

      • Top Differential Diagnoses

        • Pathology

          • Clinical Issues

            TERMINOLOGY

            • Abbreviations

              • Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC)
            • Synonyms

              • Trabecular carcinoma
                • Originally described in 1972
              • Neuroendocrine carcinoma of skin
            • Definitions

              • Neuroendocrine skin malignancy derived from Merkel cells
                • Part of the mechanoreceptor complex in skin
                • Located at basal layer of epidermis
                • Probably derived from neural crest cells

            IMAGING

            • General Features

              • CT Findings

                • MR Findings

                  • Nuclear Medicine Findings

                    • Imaging Recommendations

                      DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                        PATHOLOGY

                        • General Features

                          • Staging, Grading, & Classification

                            • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                              • Microscopic Features

                                CLINICAL ISSUES

                                • Presentation

                                  • Demographics

                                    • Natural History & Prognosis

                                      • Treatment

                                        DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                        • Consider

                                          • Reporting Tips

                                            Selected References

                                            1. Castaño JE et al: Spontaneous resolution of Merkel cell carcinoma of the cheek after incisional biopsy. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 146(6):1033-4, 2012
                                            2. Chang Y et al: Merkel cell carcinoma: a virus-induced human cancer. Annu Rev Pathol. 7:123-44, 2012
                                            3. Deneve JL et al: Merkel cell carcinoma of unknown primary origin. Ann Surg Oncol. 19(7):2360-6, 2012
                                            4. Foote M et al: Merkel cell carcinoma: The prognostic implications of an occult primary in stage IIIB (nodal) disease. J Am Acad Dermatol. 67(3):395-9, 2012
                                            5. Howle J et al: Sentinel lymph node biopsy in patients with Merkel cell carcinoma: An emerging role and the Westmead hospital experience. Australas J Dermatol. 53(1):26-31, 2012
                                            6. Howle JR et al: Merkel cell carcinoma: an Australian perspective and the importance of addressing the regional lymph nodes in clinically node-negative patients. J Am Acad Dermatol. 67(1):33-40, 2012
                                            7. Martel-Jantin C et al: Genetic variability and integration of Merkel cell polyomavirus in Merkel cell carcinoma. Virology. 426(2):134-42, 2012
                                            8. Mendenhall WM et al: Cutaneous Merkel cell carcinoma. Am J Otolaryngol. 33(1):88-92, 2012
                                            9. Schrama D et al: Merkel cell carcinoma: recent insights and new treatment options. Curr Opin Oncol. 24(2):141-9, 2012
                                            10. Werchau S et al: Merkel cell carcinoma induces lymphatic microvessel formation. J Am Acad Dermatol. 67(2):215-25, 2012
                                            11. Zeng Q et al: Development of a DNA vaccine targeting Merkel cell polyomavirus. Vaccine. 30(7):1322-9, 2012
                                            12. Fields RC et al: Recurrence after complete resection and selective use of adjuvant therapy for stage I through III Merkel cell carcinoma. Cancer. Epub ahead of print, 2011
                                            13. Lok B et al: Selective radiotherapy for the treatment of head and neck Merkel cell carcinoma. Cancer. Epub ahead of print, 2011
                                            14. Pollock J et al: Metachronous merkel cell carcinoma: a case report. Case Rep Dermatol. 3(3):206-8, 2011
                                            15. Schrama D et al: Merkel cell carcinoma--pathogenesis, clinical aspects and treatment. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 25(10):1121-9, 2011
                                            16. Toker C: Trabecular carcinoma of the skin. Arch Dermatol. 105(1):107-10, 1972
                                            Related Anatomy
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                                            Related Differential Diagnoses
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                                            References
                                            Tables

                                            Tables

                                            KEY FACTS

                                            • Terminology

                                              • Imaging

                                                • Top Differential Diagnoses

                                                  • Pathology

                                                    • Clinical Issues

                                                      TERMINOLOGY

                                                      • Abbreviations

                                                        • Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC)
                                                      • Synonyms

                                                        • Trabecular carcinoma
                                                          • Originally described in 1972
                                                        • Neuroendocrine carcinoma of skin
                                                      • Definitions

                                                        • Neuroendocrine skin malignancy derived from Merkel cells
                                                          • Part of the mechanoreceptor complex in skin
                                                          • Located at basal layer of epidermis
                                                          • Probably derived from neural crest cells

                                                      IMAGING

                                                      • General Features

                                                        • CT Findings

                                                          • MR Findings

                                                            • Nuclear Medicine Findings

                                                              • Imaging Recommendations

                                                                DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                                                                  PATHOLOGY

                                                                  • General Features

                                                                    • Staging, Grading, & Classification

                                                                      • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                                                                        • Microscopic Features

                                                                          CLINICAL ISSUES

                                                                          • Presentation

                                                                            • Demographics

                                                                              • Natural History & Prognosis

                                                                                • Treatment

                                                                                  DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                                                                  • Consider

                                                                                    • Reporting Tips

                                                                                      Selected References

                                                                                      1. Castaño JE et al: Spontaneous resolution of Merkel cell carcinoma of the cheek after incisional biopsy. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 146(6):1033-4, 2012
                                                                                      2. Chang Y et al: Merkel cell carcinoma: a virus-induced human cancer. Annu Rev Pathol. 7:123-44, 2012
                                                                                      3. Deneve JL et al: Merkel cell carcinoma of unknown primary origin. Ann Surg Oncol. 19(7):2360-6, 2012
                                                                                      4. Foote M et al: Merkel cell carcinoma: The prognostic implications of an occult primary in stage IIIB (nodal) disease. J Am Acad Dermatol. 67(3):395-9, 2012
                                                                                      5. Howle J et al: Sentinel lymph node biopsy in patients with Merkel cell carcinoma: An emerging role and the Westmead hospital experience. Australas J Dermatol. 53(1):26-31, 2012
                                                                                      6. Howle JR et al: Merkel cell carcinoma: an Australian perspective and the importance of addressing the regional lymph nodes in clinically node-negative patients. J Am Acad Dermatol. 67(1):33-40, 2012
                                                                                      7. Martel-Jantin C et al: Genetic variability and integration of Merkel cell polyomavirus in Merkel cell carcinoma. Virology. 426(2):134-42, 2012
                                                                                      8. Mendenhall WM et al: Cutaneous Merkel cell carcinoma. Am J Otolaryngol. 33(1):88-92, 2012
                                                                                      9. Schrama D et al: Merkel cell carcinoma: recent insights and new treatment options. Curr Opin Oncol. 24(2):141-9, 2012
                                                                                      10. Werchau S et al: Merkel cell carcinoma induces lymphatic microvessel formation. J Am Acad Dermatol. 67(2):215-25, 2012
                                                                                      11. Zeng Q et al: Development of a DNA vaccine targeting Merkel cell polyomavirus. Vaccine. 30(7):1322-9, 2012
                                                                                      12. Fields RC et al: Recurrence after complete resection and selective use of adjuvant therapy for stage I through III Merkel cell carcinoma. Cancer. Epub ahead of print, 2011
                                                                                      13. Lok B et al: Selective radiotherapy for the treatment of head and neck Merkel cell carcinoma. Cancer. Epub ahead of print, 2011
                                                                                      14. Pollock J et al: Metachronous merkel cell carcinoma: a case report. Case Rep Dermatol. 3(3):206-8, 2011
                                                                                      15. Schrama D et al: Merkel cell carcinoma--pathogenesis, clinical aspects and treatment. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 25(10):1121-9, 2011
                                                                                      16. Toker C: Trabecular carcinoma of the skin. Arch Dermatol. 105(1):107-10, 1972