Publications by authors named "Miriam OLeary"

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Not Your Typical Tonsil: Metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinoma or Primary Disease?

Cureus 2021 Apr 21;13(4):e14604. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, USA.

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, aggressive neuroendocrine tumor that almost always presents as a cutaneous lesion in the sun-exposed areas on the bodies of elderly white males. Metastasis to lymph nodes in the presence or absence of a known primary site and occurrence of these tumors in non-sun-exposed sites have also been described; however, an incidence of recurrent disease arising in the palatine tonsil in the absence of any detectable primary lesion has never been reported in the literature. In this report, we discuss a case of a 72-year-old female who was found to have a single axillary lymph node, which was resected and proved to be positive forMCC of unknown primary (MCCUP). Since there was no evidence of additional disease, the patient elected not to pursue adjuvant therapies. Six and a half months later, she presented with a complaint of dysphagia and a right-sided exophytic tonsillar mass. Tonsillectomy revealed MCC with no detectable primary cutaneous lesion. She received adjuvant therapy with avelumab and demonstrated a complete response after one year of bi-weekly treatments. Seven months following cessation of adjuvant treatments, surveillance positron emission tomography (PET) revealed enlarged retroperitoneal, pretracheal, periaortic, and left axillary lymph nodes concerning for recurrence. She elected to forgo additional biopsies and restarted avelumab the following month. She continues to be followed up on a monthly basis.
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April 2021