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Paraneoplastic Autoantibodies

Paraneoplastic syndromes are autoantibody-mediated neurologic disorders associated with underlying tumors. These syndromes arise when systemic tumors express antigens normally found only in neural tissues. The immune system recognizes the tumor antigen as non-self, leading to the production of antibodies that recognize not only the tumor cells, but also any neural cells expressing the antigen. Neurologic symptoms often precede detection of the tumor. Detection of paraneoplastic syndrome antibodies should trigger a search for an underlying tumor, which often is occult by standard imaging techniques. Cancers most commonly associated with paraneoplastic syndromes include:

  • Small cell lung carcinoma
  • Ovarian carcinoma
  • Breast carcinoma
  • Thymoma
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma

These autoantibodies are rarely detected in serum or CSF of healthy individuals or patients who have cancer without neurologic dysfunction.

Antineuron

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