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July 1993

Merkel Cell Tumor of the Head and Neck Five New Cases With Literature Review

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Head and Neck Division) (Drs Rice and Chonkich) and Pathology (Drs Thompson and Chase), Loma Linda (Calif) University School of Medicine.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119(7):782-786. doi:10.1001/archotol.1993.01880190078016

• Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) of the skin is an uncommon, but highly aggressive neoplasm with a marked propensity for local and distant metastasis. Despite the fact that more than half of the 600 cases of MCC reported in the literature involved primary sites in the head and neck, MCC has rarely been discussed in otolaryngology publications. We present five new cases of MCC of the head and neck and summarize 89 additional cases from the literature in which detailed treatment and survival data were given. Our findings again emphasize the difficulty in making the initial histopathologic diagnosis of MCC and demonstrate the necessity of early diagnosis and multimodality treatment.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119:782-786)

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