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Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2015 Jun;16(3-4):252-7. doi: 10.3109/21678421.2014.965178. Epub 2014 Oct 6.

Is there a paraneoplastic ALS?

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ALS Centre, CHU Tours.


Our objective was to examine the strength of evidence in support of the paraneoplastic syndrome (PNS) as one cause of ALS and, if the association appears more likely than chance, determine which features of ALS imply concurrent malignancy. We reviewed the literature on concurrent ALS and neoplasia assessing the strength of evidence for the association. Most accounts of ALS and neoplasm are case reports or small uncontrolled series. In order of strength of evidence, three clinical situations that support a paraneoplastic aetiology for ALS are: 1) laboratory evidence of well-characterized onconeuronal antibodies, most often anti-Hu, anti-Yo or anti-Ri; 2) co-occurrence of ALS and a neoplasm known to cause PNS, usually lymphoma or cancer of the breast; and 3) combined ALS and a neoplasm not classically associated with PNS, without detectable onconeuronal antibodies. Clinical features that warrant evaluation of neoplasm include upper motor neuron disease in elderly females, rapid progression, non-motor signs, and young onset. In conclusion, most examples of ALS and neoplasm do not constitute a classically established PNS. Rare instances of elevated onconeuronal antibody titres or typical neoplasm, implies that, albeit rare, the PNS is one of a multitude of causes of ALS.


Motor neuron diseases; paraneoplastic; review

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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