Breast cancer-related paraneoplastic neurologic disease

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9 Scopus citations


Purpose Paraneoplastic neurologic disease (PND) is an aberrant immune-mediated response against the nervous system triggered by malignancy. Given the rarity, a paucity of data describing breast cancer-related PND (BC-PND) exists; we sought to further examine this specific patient population. Methods We retrospectively identified patients at our institution from 1997 to 2016 with BC-PND. Retrospective review with a descriptive analysis determined factors associated with PND and BC, which were compared to national breast cancer median of age (61 years) and average stage at diagnosis (60% local disease). Results BC-PND was diagnosed in 56 female patients at a median age of 52.8 years. Only 20% of invasive cancer patients had local disease. The majority of patients were hormone receptor positive and Her2 negative. Neurological symptoms presented prior to BC diagnosis in 57.1% of patients. Of all patients, 30 (53.6%) had autoantibodies detected: Purkinje Cell Cytoplasmic Autoantibody Type-1 (PCA-1[anti-Yo]), n = 10; amphiphysin-IgG, n = 9; Anti-Neuronal Nuclear Autoantibody Type-2 (ANNA-2[anti-Ri]), n = 5; and others, n = 6. The most common neurologic findings were cerebellar ataxia, myelopathy, and myopathy. Immunotherapy benefit was found to be robust (21.6%), mild to moderate (52.9%), absent (17.6%), or indeterminate (7.8%). Conclusions PND symptoms often presented prior to BC diagnosis, with the BC biologic subtype characteristics typical of the general BC population. BC diagnoses were often made at younger ages than that of the general BC population and with later-stage disease. Roughly 75% of patients benefited from immunotherapy. These data provide helpful information to providers treating this population of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-778
Number of pages8
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 7 2018


  • Breast cancer
  • Paraneoplastic neurologic disease
  • Paraneoplastic syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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