Merkel Cell Carcinoma Stocks List
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Merkel-cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare and highly aggressive skin cancer, which, in most cases, is caused by the Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV or MCV) discovered by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh in 2008. It is also known as cutaneous APUDoma, primary neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin, primary small cell carcinoma of the skin, and trabecular carcinoma of the skin.About 80% of Merkel-cell carcinomas are caused by MCV. The virus is clonally integrated into the cancerous Merkel cells. In addition, the virus has a particular mutation only when found in cancer cells, but not when it is detected in healthy skin cells. Direct evidence for this oncogenetic mechanism comes from research showing that inhibition of production of MCV proteins causes MCV-infected Merkel carcinoma cells to die but has no effect on malignant Merkel cells that are not infected with this virus. MCV-uninfected tumors, which account for about 20% of Merkel-cell carcinomas, appear to have a separate and as-yet unknown cause. Those tend to have extremely high genome mutation rates, due to ultraviolet light exposure, whereas MCV-infected Merkel cell carcinomas have low rates of genome mutation.