Anti Merkel cell panel-994

Test info

Anti Merkel cell panel
Merkel cell carcinoma
Polyomavirus VP1 capsid antibody
Polyomavirus oncoprotein antibodies
Small T antibodies
All samples include testing for antibodies to the Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC) oncoprotein.

In addition, screening for the Merkel cell polyomavirus VP1 capsid antibody is done once, on the first sample ordered for AMERK testing (AMERK2) and billed separately. The VP1 capsid antibody test is reflexively added to the order by the laboratory.

This assay is used to screen Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC) patients for current or prior infection with the Merkel cell polyomavirus.

Patients who lack these antibodies should not be monitored with additional AMERK testing because they do not make antibodies to the viral oncoprotein and should be monitored by other means. VP1 capsid antibodies are not an indicator of disease activity.


Lipemia may increase results 15 - 20%


2.0 mL
0.5 mL

Immediatley following collection, mix sample by gently inverting 5 times

  1. Allow sample to clot for a minimum of 30 minutes
  2. Spin within four (4) hours of sample collection

Gold serum separator (SST) tube

  1. Allow sample to clot
  2. Spin
  3. Transfer serum to a False bottom plasma/serum transport vial/tube (AHL) labelled as serum within four (4) hours of sample collection

False bottom plasma/serum transport vial/tube (AHL)


Refrigerated (preferred) – 7 days

Ambient – 7 days

Frozen – Long term


University of Washington (AMERK): R - NX
3 - 4 weeks

Laboratory developed Luminex paramagnetic bead, multiplex assay

Clinical and Interpretive info

  • See report
  • Established by testing of 104 normal blood donors

SmT oncoprotein antibodies are present in the blood of 50% of patients when they have clinically detectable Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC). In patients who make oncoprotein antibodies, titers are expected to decrease significantly within 3 months of successful treatment of MCC. Changes in oncoprotein titers of less than 25% may not be biologically significant. A significant rise in titer or stabilization above 2000 STU may be associated with persistent or recurrent MCC.


All charges for this test will be billed back to the requesting site