Scientific article
Open access

Merkel Cell Carcinoma of the External Ear: Population-Based Analysis and Survival Outcomes

Published inCancers, vol. 14, no. 22, 5653
Publication date2022-11-17
First online date2022-11-17

Background: Due to its highly aggressive behavior, the ability to identify and manage Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC) with a full understanding of its characteristics is essential. Because the external ear is an exposed area, resection can have dramatic consequences on patient’s self-image, which is why it is fundamental to detect MCC, typically found on UV-exposed regions such as the ears, at an early stage.

Methods: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database was searched for all external ear MCC between 2000 and 2019. A descriptive analysis based on frequencies was made to describe the demography of pathophysiologic features linked to MCC. Overall survival (OS) was studied and compared between variables with a log rank test. A multivariable Cox regression analysis was then computed to identify independent prognostic factors.

Results: A total of 210 patients (160 men) were identified with a median age of 80 years. The median OS was 47 months. Factors associated with lower OS included an age of over 80 years, the male gender, a tumor size of >5 cm, and metastatic disease. Gross (<1 cm) and wide (>1 cm) surgery excision margins were the surgery types with the best OS.

Conclusions: MCC of the external ear is diagnosed mostly in old men. Among the 182 patients who received a surgical procedure, gross and wide excision without radiotherapy were associated with the best OS.

  • Merkel Cell Carcinoma
  • SEER
  • UV
  • Epidemiology
  • External ear
  • Malignant
  • Skin
  • Survival analysis
Citation (ISO format)
ALVES, André Silva et al. Merkel Cell Carcinoma of the External Ear: Population-Based Analysis and Survival Outcomes. In: Cancers, 2022, vol. 14, n° 22, p. 5653. doi: 10.3390/cancers14225653
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2072-6694

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