Skip Navigation LinksHome > April 2014 - Volume 22 - Issue 2 > Modern management of Merkel cell carcinoma
Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head & Neck Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/MOO.0000000000000029
HEAD AND NECK ONCOLOGY: Edited by Piero Nicolai and Cesare Piazza

Modern management of Merkel cell carcinoma

Huber, Gerhard F.

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, aggressive malignancy. Worldwide incidence is increasing and roughly 50% of patients present with a primary lesion in the head and neck. This article discusses recent advances and treatment recommendations.

Recent findings

Recent research has focused on the carcinogenesis of MCC, in particular the role of Merkel cell polyoma virus (MCPyV) and its surrogate marker large T-antigen. Together with cytokeratin 20 (CK20), other biomarkers like human insulin gene enhancer-binding protein islet-1 (ISL1) and transcription factor OCT4 may provide improved methods for diagnosis and ultimately, therapy.

Summary

This review summarizes recent findings on MCC pathogenesis with a special emphasis on the impact of MCPyV. It further presents an overview of clinical aspects, and discusses treatment standards and emerging perspectives.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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