Diagnostic biopsy does not commonly induce intratumoral CD8 T cell infiltration in Merkel cell carcinoma.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


PloS one, Volume 7, Issue 7, p.e41465 (2012)


2012, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Biopsy, Carcinoma, Merkel Cell, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Center-Authored Paper, Clinical Research Division, Experimental Histopathology Core Facility, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Regression, Spontaneous, Prognosis, Shared Resources, Skin Neoplasms, Specialized Pathology Core Facility


Merkel cell carcinoma is a polyomavirus-associated cancer that is strongly linked with T lymphocyte immune suppression in epidemiologic studies. CD8+ T cell infiltration into MCC tumors (intratumoral) has recently been shown to be strongly predictive of improved survival. In contrast, the presence of CD8+ T cells at the border of the tumor (peritumoral) had no independent prognostic value. Spontaneous regression has been reported for MCC approximately one thousand times more often than would be expected given the frequency of this cancer. Many of these events began shortly after biopsy, and in some cases lymphocytic infiltration was described.