Merkel Cell Carinoma, Rare Skin Cancer


I have tried to read as much as I can on Merkel Cell Carinoma (MCV) since I had a relative die of it a few years back. The American Association of Cancer Research states it is rare and an agressive form of a skin cancer.

Patients often times die fast as it spreads so fast.  I know when  I researched it more than a year ago, it was common in Israel.

There is a human virus called Merkel cell Polymavirus that is found in 80% of the cases. They have found that further research determined that this polymavirus increased expression of a known cancer promoting protein called survivin, thus targeting that protein is a new approach to treating it.

It is a cancer that occurs more in the elderly, those with immune problems, those with HIV, those who may have had leukemia or other common cancers, used tanning beds, been exposed to too much sun, those with some specific skin abnormalities from what I can tell.  It is more common among males age 50 or older. One does wonder if one can have immune problems from the drugs they have been given from another disease ailment. You can read some information here and there, ACS, etc.

It is rare in the United States, so not a lot of research as been done on this deadly skin disease. Often times the patients are so ill and so terminal so fast that they don’t donate their surgical tissues from surgery. There is a bank in the United States that does take the tissues for research. Donating cancerous tissues helps scientists make discoveries, confirm research and come up with drugs.