Merkel cell carcinoma: more deaths but still no pathway to blame.

September 1, 2007

Publisher

Journal of Investigative Dermatology

Publication Date

September 1, 2007

Authors

Lemos B, Nghiem P

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Merkelcell.org Summary

Drs. Nghiem and Lemos published a short review of the biology of Merkel cell carcinoma in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Abstract

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a neuroendocrine skin cancer with a rising incidence (1500 U.S. cases per year) that now exceeds that of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and a mortality (33%) exceeding that of melanoma. Despite this impact, little is known about its biology. Recent studies have shown that Ras/MAP kinase activity is absent and possibly detrimental to this cancer. This makes MCC distinct from other UV–induced skin cancers and highlights the question of what drives this malignancy.

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