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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,014
Online ISSN 1827-1820
Azienda Ospedaliera Careggi - Firenze, CSPO - Unità Operativa Epidemiologia
Background. This is, to our knowledge, the first population-based study carried out to evaluate the epidemiology—incidence, mortality and survival rates—of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).
Methods. Data from the Tuscany Tumour Registry, a population-based registry operating in the Provinces of Florence and Prato since 1984, were considered.
Results. During the period 1985-1991, 13 Merkel cell tumours (10 women and 3 men) were diagnosed in the resident population. The age-adjusted (world standard) incidence rate was 0.47×106. The commonest localization was the skin of head and neck (53.8%) followed by the skin of the extremities (30.8%). The median age at diagnosis was 81.5 years. During a mean time of observation of 27.7 months, 11 patients died. The main cause of death was MCC. The observed and relative 5-year survival rates were 23.1% and 37.4%, respectively.
Conclusion. Merkel cell carcinoma was confirmed to be a very rare tumour, occurring in elderly people, and with a poor prognosis.