We’re proud to present this article, recently accepted into the British Journal of Dermatology (doi: 10.1111/bjd.16903). Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC) is a rare and aggressive skin cancer, with New Zealand (NZ) having one of the highest rates in the world. European studies have indicated about 80% of MCCs are driven by a virus. This research letter records the first assessment of viral status in NZ MCCs and finds a much lower ratio of virus positive tumours (~30%), proposing a predominantly UV-driven disease in NZ. With further research required, this provokes consideration for the provision of appropriate local diagnostic and treatment guidelines.
We would like to thank all those involved, particularly staff at the Auckland-region District Health Boards pathology laboratories for assistance with archived block access, it is a pleasure to collaborate as a team of scientists and clinicians working together.