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Merkel cell carcinoma of the thigh: case report and review of the literature

Authors Jiang W, Xu J, Wang R, Wang T, Shu Y, Liu L

Received 1 August 2018

Accepted for publication 26 November 2018

Published 11 January 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 535—540


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr XuYu Yang

Wen Jiang,* Jiali Xu,* Rong Wang, Tingting Wang, Yongqian Shu, Lianke Liu

Department of Oncology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a kind of cutaneous neuroendocrine cancer with a poor prognosis. It is characterized by a high rate of recurrence and metastases, including distant metastases and regional nodal metastases. Clinically, MCC often manifests as obvious single painless hard nodules visible in sun irradiation of diameter <2 cm and not uncom­monly >2 cm, with rapid growth and metastases, especially lymph node metastases. Due to the aspecific nature of MCC, it is often confused with other skin cancers. Exploring different treatments of MCC is necessary.
Case presentation: The current study describes the case of an 86-year-old retired man, who presented with a 2.5×2.0×1.2 cm red nodule on the right thigh, which was initially diagnosed as subcutaneous small cell cancer. Upon histological and immunohistochemical analysis, the tumor was consistent with a diagnosis of MCC.
Results: Antiangiogenic therapy combining endostar and apatinib was administered and a partial response achieved after 2.0 months of treatment, and 6.5 months of progression-free survival was achieved. Overall survival was 13.0 months.
Conclusion: We believe that antiangiogenic therapy is an extremely effective treatment for MCC, especially for patients who cannot tolerate chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Merkel cell carcinoma, antiangiogenic therapy, endostar, apatinib

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