Latest update on the clinical features and management of merkel cell Carcinoma

Ahmed Nadeem Abbasi, Sumaiya Zahid

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), is a rare, highly malignant skin tumour, with a poor prognosis. Though the aetiology of MCC is not known, but there are several features that it shares with melanoma. These include the natural history, clinical features and behaviour, e.g. an early spread to nodal sites, high local recurrence rate and early metastasis. Incidence of MCC is seen to be increased in immunosuppressed transplant patients, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and in B cell malignancies, with a strong male predominance. Despite the ongoing research and advancement, MCC yet poses a challenge to the clinicians because of its rarity. The purpose of this paper is to review the most salient and clinically relevant updates of MCC since its first publication in July 2007 in JPMA. In order to expedite an improved understanding of the new diagnostic modalities, treatment and preventive measures, along with the new staging system established in 2009 after an extensive literature review, and an analysis of over 5,000 patients using the National Cancer Database has all been included in our article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-268
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemotherapy
  • Merkel cell carcinoma
  • Radiotherapy
  • Skin cancers


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