The deadliest form of skin cancer is providing a glimpse into the desperate intersection of research dollars and the suffering wrought by rare diseases.
Diagnoses of Merkel cell carcinoma have tripled to about 1,500 a year, but there have been no well-controlled studies on the best treatment.
The first comprehensive report on symptoms and risk factors was published only last month. The cancer almost exclusively strikes Caucasians, over age 50, on sun-exposed skin. And while a weak immune system greatly increases risk, most patients have normal immunity.
In January, scientists announced they'd discovered a previously unknown virus lurking inside Merkel cell tumors. But they say if they had more funding they could have easily discovered that five years ago.
KKTV firmly believes in freedom of speech for all and we are happy to provide this forum for the community to share opinions and facts. We ask that commenters keep it clean, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments left here do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of KKTV 11 News.
If you believe that any of the comments on our site are inappropriate or offensive, please tell us by clicking “Report Abuse” and answering the questions that follow. We will review any reported comments promptly.powered by Disqus
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.