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04 December 2018 : Case report  France

A Spontaneous Regression of an Isolated Lymph Node Metastasis from a Primary Unknown Merkel Cell Carcinoma in a Patient with an Idiopathic Hyper-Eosinophilic Syndrome

Unusual clinical course

Raffaele Longo1ABCDEF*, Oana Balasanu2ABCE, Mathilde Chastenet de Castaing1ABCDEF, Eric Chatelain3ABCDEF, Mohammed Yacoubi4BCDE, Marco Campitiello1BCDEF, Nathalie Marcon5BDEF, Francesca Plastino1ABCDEF

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.911840

Am J Case Rep 2018; 19:1437-1440


BACKGROUND: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, aggressive primary cutaneous neuroendocrine tumor frequently associated with Merkel cell polyomavirus infection. Despite its aggressiveness, a few reports of spontaneous MCC regression have been described in the literature, most of them following incisional biopsy supporting a hypothetical role of surgery-induced inflammation in the process of regression.

CASE REPORT: We report a case of 69-year-old Caucasian male who was followed for an idiopathic hyper-eosinophilic syndrome. A positron emission tomography (PET) scan documented a hyper-metabolic, left, inguinal adenopathy, histologically corresponding to a metastasis of a poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma. This lesion spontaneously regressed at clinical examination and radiological imaging. After its excisional dissection, histology was negative. Five months later, a nearby adenopathy reappeared. The patient underwent another excisional biopsy. Histology and immunohistochemistry were compatible with a lymph node metastasis of a MCC. As the patient refused radical surgery, a regional radiotherapy was performed. As of a follow-up at 10 months, he was alive and free of tumor recurrence. The hyper-eosinophilic syndrome was stable; however, the serum levels of chromogranin-A were inexplicably elevated in the absence of any tumor evidence at the PET scan.

CONCLUSIONS: The particularity of this case relies on the rarity of MCC complete spontaneous regression in a patient without a primary tumor and with a synchronous, idiopathic hyper-eosinophilic syndrome.

Keywords: Carcinoma, Merkel Cell, Neoplasm Regression, Spontaneous, Polyomavirus

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American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923
American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923