Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Merkel cell polyomavirus MCP kills!

Check it out:
According to the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, newly discovered (ie. isolated) merkel cell polyomavirus has been linked to serious skin cancer.
The article states, "Merkel cell carcinoma is a fast-moving skin cancer that develops from nerve cells and quickly invades other tissues and organs in the body. This incidence of this type of cancer has increased dramatically over the 20 years and now averages 1,500 cases per year." They report that as many as 50 percent of patients succumb to this disease within 9 months--thats an incredible rate for a type of skin cancer!
Random unresearched thoughts: I wonder if everything--cancer included is actually caused by viruses? Can we talk more about the mechanisms of how viruses lead to cancer?

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