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Expression of cyclin A in Merkel cell carcinoma

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Koljonen V, Tukiainen E, Haglund C, Böhling T. Expression of cyclin A in Merkel cell carcinoma. APMIS 2004;112:39–44.

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare and aggressive primary neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin. Large tumours, in particular, show rapid progression and metastatic dissemination, while smaller tumours show less aggressive behaviour. Cyclin A is considered to play a central role in cell cycle control. Its overexpression has been found to correlate with prognosis in many types of carcinomas and sarcomas. Twenty-six MCC patients with complete clinical data were selected. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded primary tumour samples were immunohistochemically stained for cyclin A. Correlation between expression of cyclin A and primary tumour size, invasion of subcutaneous tissue, local recurrence, metastasis and survival was statistically analysed. Twenty-five samples expressed cyclin A, and the mean value of positive cells was 25%. Our findings demonstrate that even small and superficial MCC show overexpression of cyclin A. There was no statistical correlation between cyclin A expression and the above-mentioned variables. Cyclin A does not seem to be useful as a prognostic tool. Consequently, size of the primary tumour (≥2 cm) remains the primary prognostic tool. As a result every tumour, even those small in size, should be considered aggressive and treated radically and rapidly.

Keywords: Merkel cell carcinoma; cyclin A; immunohistochemistry; primary neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin; prognostic factors

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Plastic Surgery, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; Department of 2: Gastroenterological and General Surgery, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; Department of 3: Pathology, Helsinki University and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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