Initial screening for neuronal autoantibodies and their putative impact on survival in patients with small-cell lung cancer

Anne With Mikkelsen, Anna Christine Nilsson, Helene Broch Tenstad, Soeren Thue Lillevang, Nasrin Asgari*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review


INTRODUCTION: Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) may be associated with neuronal autoantibodies and paraneoplastic neurological syndromes. It has been suggested that neuronal autoantibodies, especially antineuronal nuclear antibody type 1 (Hu) autoantibodies, are associated with longer survival of patients with SCLC. The objective of this study was to determine the frequency and distribution of neuronal autoantibodies at the time of diagnosis of SCLC patients and assess survival rates in relation to autoimmunity.

METHODS: In this retrospective study, serum from 40 patients with biopsy-proven SCLC at the time of diagnosis was studied prior to treatment. The sera originated from a cancer registry at the Oncology Department, Vejle Hospital from 2007 to 2010. The sera were analyzed blindly to clinical status for the presence of neuronal autoantibodies. Medical records were reviewed for neurological symptoms.

RESULTS: Neuronal autoantibodies were detected in 22/40 (55%) of the SCLC patients. A broad range of neurological symptoms was recorded in 28/40 (70%) patients, of which 14/28 (50%) were positive for neuronal autoantibodies. The most frequently detected autoantibodies were Hu (7/40, 17.5%) followed by GAD65 (6/22, 15.0%). Striational and P/Q- or N-type voltage-gated calcium channel antibodies were less common, with each found in five patients (12.5%). Eight patients (20%) had coexisting autoantibodies. Autoantibody-positivity was not associated with survival.

CONCLUSION: Neuronal autoantibodies were at time of diagnosis found in approximately half of the treatment-naïve SCLC patients. Neither autoantibody positivity at diagnosis nor neurological manifestations correlated with survival and their clinical importance requires further studies in larger, prospective cohorts.

TidsskriftThoracic Cancer
StatusUdgivet, E-publikation før trykning - 4 maj 2024

Bibliografisk note

© 2024 The Authors. Thoracic Cancer published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.


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