The possibility of a so-called primary lymph node neuroendocrine carcinoma has been described in the literature. Here we evaluate cases fitting such a diagnosis and find that the cases demonstrate a convincing and pervasive pattern consistent with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma.
Six cases of primary lymph node Merkel cell carcinoma and one case of metastatic neuroendocrine carcinoma at a bony site, all with unknown primary, were sequenced using a combination of whole-exome and targeted panel methods. Sequencing results were analyzed for the presence of an ultraviolet (UV) mutational signature or off-target detection of Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV).
Four of six primary lymph node cases were positive for a UV mutational signature, with the remaining two cases positive for off-target alignment of MCPyV. One case of neuroendocrine carcinoma occurring at a bony site was also positive for a UV mutational signature.
We find no evidence to corroborate the existence of so-called primary Merkel cell carcinoma of lymph node.

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