Journal of medical virology 2017 07 06() doi 10.1002/jmv.24896
This study investigates the presence of Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) in skin lesions of patients with Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).
MCPyV was quantified using quantitative Real-Time-PCR (qRT-PCR) in 34 paraffinized MCC samples (resected/biopsied) originally taken between 1977 and 2015, and 6 non-MCC samples.
In 31 (91.2%) MCC-individuals, MCPyV was detected. No virus was observed in any non-MCC tumour. Average age at diagnosis was 78.2±9.35 (55-97) years for women (n=19) and 69.5±14.7 (45-91) for men (n=15) (p=0.04). MCC tumour location, known in 25 cases, was: 11 (44%) in the head region, 6 (24%) in upper limbs, 4 (16%) in lower limbs and 4 (16%) in the trunk. All but one patient had received some sort of treatment: 15 (45.45%) underwent both radio and chemotherapy, 13 (39.39%) only surgery, 2 (6.06%) surgery, plus radio and chemotherapy, 2 (6.06%) surgery and chemotherapy, and 1 (3.03%) only radiotherapy. Follow up data was available for 21/34 patients: recurrence was recorded for 4 (19.04%), and metastasis for 13 (61.9%). Recorded data showed that 10 men and 5 women (total 44.1%) died during follow up, 7 (46.7%) of them within two years of diagnosis. Viral load was 5.8±1.4log copies/10(5) cells (3.1-8.6), independent of any variable.
MCPyV was very frequent in MCC. It was principally associated with head and limb tumours, it more commonly affected men, who in this study were, on average, younger than women, and had high rates of recurrence and mortality. The amplification techniques described here are easily applied and suitable for detecting the presence of MCPyV virus in MCC. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.