What is the prevalence of Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV or MCPyV), and what is its role in Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC)?

Updated: Jan 18, 2019
  • Author: Arjun S Joshi, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

MCC is associated with the Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV), with studies showing up to 80% involvement in MCC tumors. [5, 6, 7] Although evidence suggests a causative link between MCV and MCC, [8] further research is needed to evaluate the absolute risk of cancer. Infection with the virus is common during childhood and is usually asymptomatic. MCV is present in 35% of 13-year-olds [13] and increases to 80% at age 50 years. [14]


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