Paraneoplastic syndromes occur secondary to the indirect effects of a malignancy and occur remotely to the primary malignancy. Symptoms are mediated by cytokines, hormones or immune cross-reactivity. These syndromes can cause a diverse range of symptoms and can affect multiple systems.
Paraneoplastic syndromes occur in up to 15% of patients with cancer 3.
Paraneoplastic syndromes arise most commonly with small cell lung cancer as well as gynaecological and haematological malignancies.
Paraneoplastic systems can affect multiple systems and have a diverse presentation. Some examples are given below 1, 2:
- paraneoplastic endocrine syndromes
- paraneoplastic neurological syndromes (PNS)
- paraneoplastic rheumatological/dermatological syndromes
- paraneoplastic haematologic syndromes
- miscellaneous paraneoplastic syndromes
History and etymology
Paraneoplastic comes from the Greek words for alongside (para), new (neo) and formation (plasis) 2.
- 1. Pelosof LC, Gerber DE. Paraneoplastic syndromes: an approach to diagnosis and treatment. Mayo Clin. Proc. 2010;85 (9): 838-54. doi:10.4065/mcp.2010.0099 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 2. Darnell RB, Posner JB. Paraneoplastic Syndromes. Oxford University Press. ISBN:0199772738. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 3. Goldman L, Schafer AI. Goldman's Cecil Medicine: Expert Consult Premium Edition - Enhanced Online Features and Print, Single Volume. Saunders. ISBN:1437716040. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon