Author(s): Carson HJ, Reddy V, Taxy JB
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Abstract Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a frequently aggressive primary cutaneous neuroendocrine malignancy. We investigated 3 cell proliferation markers which may be useful in predicting the aggressiveness of MCC: 1) p53, a tumor suppressor protein, 2) Ki-67, a marker of cell cycling, and 3) proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Twenty patients with MCC were studied. The 3 cell proliferation markers were studied by immunoperoxidase. Clinical and immunoperoxidase results were tabulated according to recurrence or death from disease. Of the 20 patients, 10 experienced recurrence, and 10 did not. Seven tumors were positive for p53. We found correlations between recurrence and death in MCC patients, between p53 positivity and recurrence/death, and between p53 positivity and head/neck primary sites. We found no correlation with recurrence by gender or primary site. PCNA was positive in only 1 patient, while Ki-67 was positive in all patients, making these 2 markers unsuitable for predicting recurrence. Further clinical studies will be helpful to confirm and refine the application of this test. Prognostic information from such studies may be useful in planning observation and treatment for patients in the future.
This article was published in J Cutan Pathol
and referenced in Journal of Nephrology & Therapeutics