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Merkel cell carcinoma metastatic to cervical lymph node in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis: a case report

Authors Li N, Wang G, Jiang X, Huang M, Tian H, Xuan F, Zhang Y, Lv Y, Hu M, Wang Z, Ren P, Xu M

Received 22 September 2018

Accepted for publication 28 December 2018

Published 19 February 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 1395—1400

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S188403

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sanjay Singh


Na Li,1 Guodong Wang,2 Xiaohong Jiang,1 Minguang Huang,2 Huanyong Tian,2 Feng Xuan,2 Yufeng Zhang,2 Yanting Lv,3 Mengjun Hu,3 Zhen Wang,2 Peng Ren,1 Maoyi Xu2

1Department of Pathology, Jiaxing University Afffiliated Women and Children Hospital, Jiaxing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital, Jiaxing University, Jiaxing, Zhejiang 314051, China; 2Department of Radiotherapy Oncology, Zhuji People’s Hospital of Zhejiang Province, The Zhuji Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Zhuji, Zhejiang 311800, China; 3Department of Pathology, Zhuji People’s Hospital of Zhejiang Province, The Zhuji Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Zhuji, Zhejiang 311800, China

Abstract: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, aggressive skin malignancy that has a propensity for local recurrence and metastasis to the lymph nodes. In this case report, we discuss a 54-year-old female with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who had received treatment with prednisone (15 mg/day) for symptom relief and management. The patient visited our hospital with complaints of a nodule in right preauricular area. Computed tomography (CT) scans revealed no distant metastasis. The patient underwent surgical resection and histopathological evaluation of the nodule led to the diagnosis of MCC. The patients received post-surgical treatment with 6 MeV electronic wire radiotherapy. Six months later, CT of the head, neck, abdomen and chest demonstrated a right cervical lymph node mass at the C2 level. The patient then underwent cervical lymph node biopsy and pathological diagnosis confirmed metastatic MCC. One month after the lymph node biopsy, the patients received postoperative intensity modulated radiation therapy in the biopsied area. The patient did not experience any adverse effects to the therapy. In conclusion, the MCC patients with RA can tolerate radiation therapy. As MCC is a highly malignant neoplasia, considering the immune checkpoint inhibitors can lead to immune-related adverse events, detection of MCC at earlier stages is associated with better survival. The treatment decisions of MCC patients with RA continues is still challenging.

Keywords: Merkel cell carcinoma, metastasis, cervical lymph node, rheumatoid arthritis

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