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Journal of Skin Cancer
Volume 2013, Article ID 325086, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/325086
Research Article

Merkel Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck: A Single Institutional Experience

1Division of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital Zurich, Frauenklinikstraße 24, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland
2Institute of Surgical Pathology, University Hospital Zurich, Frauenklinikstraße 24, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland
3Division of Dermatology, University Hospital Zurich, Frauenklinikstraße 24, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland

Received 28 October 2012; Accepted 22 December 2012

Academic Editor: Boban M. Erovic

Copyright © 2013 G. Morand et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare cutaneous malignancy occurring mostly in older immunocompromized Caucasian males. A growing incidence of MCC has been reported in epidemiological studies. Treatment of MCC usually consists of surgical excision, pathological lymph node evaluation, and adjuvant radiotherapy. This paper reports the experience of a single tertiary center institution with 17 head and neck Merkel cell carcinoma patients. Median followup for the cohort was 37.5 months. After five years, recurrence-free survival, disease specific survival, and overall survival were 85%, 90%, and 83%, respectively. Our limited data support the use of adjuvant radiotherapy. We also report two cases of MCC located at the vestibule of the nose and two cases of spontaneous regression after diagnostic biopsy. About 40% of our patients were referred to our center for surgical revision and pathological lymph node evaluation. Increased awareness of MCC and an interdisciplinary approach are essential in the management of MCC.