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Merkel cell carcinomas arising in autoimmune disease affected patients treated with biologic drugs, including anti-TNF

Abstract : Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to characterize Merkel cell carcinomas (MCC) arisen in patients affected by autoimmune diseases and treated with biologic drugs. Experimental Design: Serum samples from patients with MCC were analyzed for the presence and titer of antibodies against antigens of the oncogenic Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV). IgG antibodies against the viral oncoproteins large T (LT) and small T (ST) antigens and the viral capsid protein-1 were analyzed by indirect ELISA. Viral antigens were recombinant LT/ST and viruslike particles (VLP), respectively. MCPyV DNA sequences were studied using PCR methods in MCC tissues and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses were carried out in MCC tissues to reveal MCPyV LT oncoprotein. Results: MCPyV DNA sequences identified in MCC tissues showed 100% homology with the European MKL-1 strain. PBMCs from patients tested MCPyV-negative. Viral DNA loads in the three MCC tissues were in the 0.1 to 30 copy/cell range. IgG antibodies against LT/ST were detected in patients 1 and 3, whereas patient 2 did not react to the MCPyV LT/ST antigen. Sera from the three patients with MCC contained IgG antibodies against MCPyV VP1. MCC tissues tested MCPyV LT-antigen-positive in IHC assays, with strong LT expression with diffuse nuclear localization. Normal tissues tested MCPyV LT-negative when employed as control. Conclusions: We investigated three new MCCs in patients affected by rheumatologic diseases treated with biologic drugs, including TNF. A possible cause-effect relationship between pharmacologic immunosuppressive treatment and MCC onset is suggested. Indeed, MCC is associated with MCPyV LT oncoprotein activity.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01601220
Contributor : Archive Ouverte Prodinra <>
Submitted on : Monday, October 2, 2017 - 5:45:15 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 2:22:28 PM

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John Charles Rotondo, Ilaria Bononi, Andrea Puozzo, Marcello Govoni, Valentina Foschi, et al.. Merkel cell carcinomas arising in autoimmune disease affected patients treated with biologic drugs, including anti-TNF. Clinical Cancer Research, American Association for Cancer Research, 2017, 23 (14), pp.3929 - 3934. ⟨10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-16-2899⟩. ⟨hal-01601220⟩

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