Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive skin tumor with a high tendency for metastases. We report a case of MCC initially presenting as axillary and pancreatic metastases. A 33-year-old HIV-positive Hispanic male presented with a history of a rapidly growing axillary mass. A needle core biopsy demonstrated an epithelioid neoplasm composed of small to medium-sized cells with high nuclear-cytoplasmic ratio, nuclear molding, and frequent mitotic figures. A subsequent PET scan revealed a 1.5 cm FDG avid mass in the pancreas. Endoscopic ultrasound-guided FNA of the pancreatic mass showed neoplastic cells with similar morphology to those of the axillary mass. The tumor cells were positive with pancytokeratin AE1/AE3, CK20, CD56, synatophysin, chromogranin, and Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV). This case of MCC most likely originated from a resolved primary skin lesion drained by the involved axillary lymph node with subsequent metastases to the pancreas and distant lymph nodes.
- Merkel cell carcinoma
- Merkel cell polyomavirus
- unknown primary
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine