Merkel cell carcinoma linked to virus, scientists say

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute say that there’s a link between a rare type of cancer and a virus.

Elderly people and those who have been infected by HIV are more likely to get Merkel cell carcinoma.

The researchers have found the foreign DNA linked to the skin cancer tumor growth. The study included identifying viral DNA sequences of up to 80% of Merkel cell tumours.

At least 50 percent of people with the disease die within 9 months, doctors say. But now the hope appeared that new researches will help to provide a treatment.

Merkel cell cancer, also called Merkel cell carcinoma, trabecular cancer, Apudoma of skin, or Small cell neuroepithelial tumor of the skin, is a rare and highly aggressive cancer where malignant cancer cells develop on or just beneath the skin and in hair follicles. This cancer is a type of neuroendocrine tumor, like small cell lung cancer. Merkel cell carcinoma is the most serious form of skin cancer.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team