Sentinel-node guided lymph-node dissection for Merkel cell carcinoma

N. Wasserberg, M. Feinmesser, J. Schachter, E. Fenig, H. Gutman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Merkel cell carcinoma is an aggressive neuroendocrine skin tumour. Treatment is still debatable. Merkel cell carcinoma resembles malignant melanoma in its cutaneous presentation and its embryonic origin; both have unpredictable biological behaviour, early regional lymph node involvement, early distant metastases and a high recurrence rate. In light of these common features, we used pre-operative lymphoscintigraphy, intraoperative lymph-node mapping and sentinel-node biopsy - a well-described technique for the treatment of melanoma - in a 60-year-old man with Merkel cell carcinoma in the right buttock. Following frozen section identification of a metastatic first-order sentinel node, radical right groin dissection was performed. All the other lymph nodes in this basin proved to be disease-free, including the second-order sentinel node and Cloquet node. The patient is now being treated with adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy. This case shows that sentinel-node guided dissection is applicable to Merkel cell carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-446
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1999


  • Lymph-node dissection
  • Merkel cell carcinoma
  • Neuroendocrine tumours
  • Sentinel node


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