To identify genetic alterations present in Merkel cell carcinoma, we have conducted molecular analyses of human tumors across multiple genome-wide platforms to assay gene expression, identify gene mutations and characterize chromosomal alterations. These date are presently being analyzed to identify key driver alterations for this tumor. We have also begun to generate mice where oncogenic modifications are carried out in specific skin lineages in an attempt to transform Merkel cells in vivo. Finally we have begun work generating new cell lines for Merkel cell carcinoma and are conducting a genetic knock-down screen to identify druggable pathways important for tumor survival.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
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National Cancer Institute Division of Basic Sciences
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Carroll, Thomas M; Williams, Jonathan S; Daily, Kenneth et al. (2017) Hedgehog Signaling Inhibitors Fail to Reduce Merkel Cell Carcinoma Viability. J Invest Dermatol 137:1187-1190
Eid, Mary; Nguyen, Jannett; Brownell, Isaac (2017) Seeking Standards for the Detection of Merkel Cell Polyomavirus and its Clinical Significance. J Invest Dermatol 137:797-799
Cassler, Nicole M; Merrill, Dean; Bichakjian, Christopher K et al. (2016) Merkel Cell Carcinoma Therapeutic Update. Curr Treat Options Oncol 17:36
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Gaiser, Maria Rita; Daily, Kenneth; Hoffmann, Jochen et al. (2015) Evaluating blood levels of neuron specific enolase, chromogranin A, and circulating tumor cells as Merkel cell carcinoma biomarkers. Oncotarget 6:26472-82
Geeraert, Pieter; Williams, Jonathan S; Brownell, Isaac (2013) Targeting the hedgehog pathway to treat basal cell carcinoma. J Drugs Dermatol 12:519-23