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      Contribution of Immune-Mediated Paraneoplastic Syndromes to Neurological Manifestations of Neuroendocrine Tumours: A Retrospective Study

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          Introduction: Neurological symptoms associated with neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) may be related to metastatic disease or paraneoplastic syndromes (PNSs); these last are often associated with autoantibodies targeting various onconeural antigens. To better characterize neurological PNSs related to NETs, we report the largest case-series study to date. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the charts of all patients diagnosed with NETs of the gastrointestinal tract who presented with neurological symptoms at either of 2 tertiary academic hospitals (Henri Mondor and Beaujon, France) between 1994 and 2016. All patients underwent extensive neurological tests including clinical, laboratory, and radiological investigations. The clinical response to immunomodulating agents was recorded. Results: In the 13 identified patients, the most common presentations were peripheral neuropathy (46.2%) and encephalopathy (26.6%). Of the 6 (53.3%) patients whose serum anti-neuronal antibodies were assayed, 5 had high titres. Short-term oral corticosteroid and immunosuppressant drug therapy was given to 4 of these patients, of whom 3 had a clinical response and 1 no response. Repeated high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin therapy induced a complete clinical response in 1 patient. Encephalopathy resolved fully after hepatectomy or intrahepatic chemoembolization for liver metastases in another 2 patients. Discussion: The neurological symptoms associated with NETs may be due in part to autoimmune PNS. Based on experience at our 2 centres, we estimate that autoimmune PNS occurs in about 1% of patients with NETs. Early symptom recognition allows the initiation of effective treatments including corticosteroids, immunosuppressive drugs, and/or intravenous immunoglobulins.

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          Most cited references 20

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          Stroke in patients with cancer: incidence and etiology.

          To assess the incidence and type of strokes in patients with cancer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Retrospective review of all ischemic strokes diagnosed by a neurologist and confirmed by neuroimaging between February 1997 and April 2001 was conducted. Age, gender, cancer diagnosis and stage, and vascular risk factors were recorded. NIH Stroke Scale and modified Rankin Scale scores were calculated retrospectively. Stroke etiology was assigned independently by two neurologists using the Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment (TOAST) criteria. Ninety-six patients with a confirmed stroke were identified. The median age was 67, and 61.5% were men. The distribution of vascular risk factors was comparable with that seen in large stroke trials. Lung cancer (30%) was the most common primary tumor followed by brain and prostate cancer (9% each). Strokes were embolic in 52 (54%) and nonembolic in 44 (46%). Eleven of 12 tested patients had an elevated D-dimer level, but in only 3 patients could a definitive diagnosis of nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis be made. The median survival was 4.5 months (95% CI 2.8 to 9.5) from the diagnosis of stroke; 25% of patients died within 30 days. Treatment had no effect on survival. Embolic strokes are the commonest cause of stroke in patients with cancer, due partially to hypercoagulability, whereas atherosclerosis accounted for only 22% of stroke in this population. Outcome was primarily determined by the underlying malignancy and the patient's neurologic condition.
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            Recommended diagnostic criteria for paraneoplastic neurological syndromes.

            Paraneoplastic neurological syndromes (PNS) are defined by the presence of cancer and exclusion of other known causes of the neurological symptoms, but this criterion does not separate "true" PNS from neurological syndromes that are coincidental with a cancer. To provide more rigorous diagnostic criteria for PNS. An international panel of neurologists interested in PNS identified those defined as "classical" in previous studies. The panel reviewed the existing diagnostic criteria and recommended new criteria for those in whom no clinical consensus was reached in the past. The panel reviewed all reported onconeural antibodies and established the conditions to identify those that would be labelled as "well characterised". The antibody information was obtained from published work and from unpublished data from the different laboratories involved in the study. The panel suggest two levels of evidence to define a neurological syndrome as paraneoplastic: "definite" and "possible". Each level can be reached combining a set of criteria based on the presence or absence of cancer and the definitions of "classical" syndrome and "well characterised" onconeural antibody. The proposed criteria should help clinicians in the classification of their patients and the prospective and retrospective analysis of PNS cases.
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              Onconeural antibodies in sera from patients with various types of tumours.

              We assessed the frequency and levels of onconeural antibodies in 974 patients with various types of tumours, but without apparent paraneoplastic neurological syndromes (PNS). We included patients with the following tumours: 200 small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients, 253 breast cancer patients, 182 ovarian cancer patients, 266 uterine cancer patients and 73 thymoma patients, as well as 52 patients with PNS and cancer and 300 healthy blood donors. Sera were screened for amphiphysin, CRMP5, Hu, Ma2, Ri and Yo antibodies using a multi-well immunoprecipitation technique. The most frequently detected antibodies were Hu followed by CRMP5. Ma2, Yo, amphiphysin and Ri antibodies were less common, but each was found at similar frequencies. Onconeural antibodies were present at similar levels in sera from the PNS control group and from cancer patients. Hu antibodies were rare in cancers other than SCLC. CRMP5 was the only antibody found in patients with thymoma and this antibody was more common among patients with thymoma than in other tumour patients. With one exception, coexisting antibodies were only found in patients with SCLC. The presence of onconeural antibodies in SCLC patients was not associated with prolonged survival. Onconeural antibodies are associated with various types of tumours suggesting that all antibodies should be included in the serological screening for possible PNS. The levels of onconeural antibody are not sufficiently sensitive to discriminate between cancer patients with PNS and those without.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                December 2020
                11 February 2020
                : 111
                : 1-2
                : 123-128
                aDepartment of Gastroenterology, Henri Mondor University Hospital, Creteil, France
                bDepartment of Gastroenterology-Pancreatology, Beaujon University Hospital, Paris Diderot University, ENETS Centre of Excellence, Clichy, France
                cDepartment of Neurology, Henri Mondor University Hospital, Paris Est Creteil University (UPEC), Creteil, France
                dEC2M3-EA7375 Paris Est Creteil University (UPEC), Creteil, France
                Author notes
                *Iradj Sobhani, Department of Gastroenterology, Henri Mondor University Hospital, 51 Avenue Marechal de Lattre de Tassigny, FR–94010 Creteil (France), iradj.sobhani@aphp.fr
                506400 Neuroendocrinology 2021;111:123–128
                © 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 3, Pages: 6
                Research Article


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