Case of probable spontaneous regression of Merkel cell carcinoma combined with squamous cell carcinoma without surgical intervention.
J Dermatol. 2018 Jul ;45(7):858-861. Epub 2018 Apr 23. PMID: 29687461
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare but more lethal cutaneous cancer than melanoma. However, spontaneous regression of a number of MCC has been reported, although the cause of this regression remains unclear. In most cases, MCC regresses after a surgical procedure, for example, biopsy. Herein, we report a case of Merkel cell polyomavirus-negative MCC coincident with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) that underwent true spontaneous regression without biopsy. One month after the patient's first visit, clinical examination revealed that the tumor had not grown, but its surface showed changes in texture and color. Histopathologically, the excised specimen was indicative of MCC coincident with SCC and showed extensive necrosis in the upper portion of the tumor, numerous caspase-3-positive apoptotic cells, an accumulation of CD68-positive foam cells and vascular invasion. These findings suggested that the tumor had regressed. We hypothesize that extensive coagulative necrosis resulting from an insufficient local blood supply triggered the shedding of some products or components of MCC and SCC, which in turn induced antitumor immunity against both lesions.