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August 1989

Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology (Drs Hanke and Temofeew and Ms Conner), Pathology (Dr Hanke), and Otolaryngology (Dr Lingeman), Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis.

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(8):1096-1100. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670200072012

• Merkel cell carcinoma is an unusual primary cutaneous tumor with an aggressive biologic nature. Following surgical treatment, 40% of patients have local recurrences develop, 55% have regional lymph node metastases develop, and 49% have distant metastases develop. We have treated four patients with Merkel cell carcinoma; only one of the four patients was alive and well after 2 years. Two patients died of metastatic disease, one at 11 months following initial treatment and one at 39 months. The fourth patient had a rapid recurrence following initial treatment and is currently in remission following chemotherapy for regional metastases. Recent reports indicate that chemotherapy may be helpful in treating patients with recurrent or metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma.

(Arch Dermatol. 1989;125:1096-1100)