Neuroendocrine (Merkel cell) carcinoma in regional lymph nodes without primary site Academic Article uri icon


  • Neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin was described by Toker in 1972 as trabecular carcinoma [1]. Although the entity is widely known as Merkel cell carcinoma because of its ultrastructural similarity to the normal Merkel cell, the term neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin is more appropriate because of the histologic and histochemical features of the malignant cells. Many hundreds of cases have been described in the literature but the biological behavior and treatment of this aggressive tumor have not been precisely defined. NCS tends to metastasize to regional lymph nodes and to spread hematogenously to other organs, primarily liver and bone. Moreover, the appearance of NCS in regional lymph nodes without an apparent primary site has been reported only rarely [2±4]. This report adds another two cases to the 13 documented in the literature.

publication date

  • January 1, 2003