Metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) of pancreas and breast: a unique case.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare potentially fatal skin tumor affecting older and immunosuppressed individuals. It is highly malignant with high rates of metastasis and poor survival.We present a case of a 67-year-old woman with a palpable mass in the upper abdomen. An abdominal CT revealed a mass in the tail of the pancreas. Two weeks before, lumpectomy of a 3.5 cm tumor of the left breast had been performed. Histology showed a primary neuroendocrine carcinoma of the mammary gland. The patient's medical history was significant for a 0.7 × 0.9 cm MCC removed from her left forearm 2.5 years ago. There was no evidence of vascular involvement or peritoneal disease and by all criteria was resectable. A somatostatin receptor scintigraphy showed an enhanced uptake in the pancreatic tail region. The tumor was immunohistochemically strong staining for synaptophysin and CD56. The diagnosis of a metastatic-MCC in the tail of the pancreas was made. Further histological investigation of the prior removed neuroendocrine breast tumor and the MCC of the left forearm confirmed neuroendocrine origin and identical histology to the previously resected MCC of the left forearm. In this article, we aim to highlight that MCC has the potential to spread even in unusual organs, such as pancreas or breast, and therefore a diligent follow-up should be applied in patients with MCC.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Vernadakis, S; Moris, D; Bankfalvi, A; Makris, N; Sotiropoulos, GC

Published Date

  • October 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 /

Start / End Page

  • 261 -

PubMed ID

  • 24099413

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3852773

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1477-7819

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1477-7819

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1186/1477-7819-11-261


  • eng