Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive cutaneous malignancy
with neuroendocrine origin. The rarity of the tumor and variable
clinical presentation make the diagnosis especially challenging. The tumor
grows rapidly and lymph node metastasis occurs early in the disease
course. The etiology is related to prior UV exposure, immunosuppression,
and polyomavirus infection. The 2008 discovery of an infectious cause for
the majority of Merkel cell carcinoma cases sparked more research into
the pathogenesis of the tumor and possible therapeutic options. Although
there has been recent improvement, there is a lack of uniform consensus
or well-established guidelines on the management of MCC. These difficulties
in identifying and treating the disease, as well as the overall poor prognosis, highlight
the importance of further research into the area, and the requirement for physicians to
stay up to date with the most recent research findings.
Keywords: Merkel, polyomavirus, organ transplant, skin cancer, immunosuppression.
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