Treatment of paraneoplastic neurological syndromes with antineuronal antibodies (Anti-Hu, anti-Yo) with a combination of immunoglobulins, cyclophosphamide, and methylprednisolone.

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry

PubMedID: 10727484

Keime-Guibert F, Graus F, Fleury A, René R, Honnorat J, Broet P, Delattre JY. Treatment of paraneoplastic neurological syndromes with antineuronal antibodies (Anti-Hu, anti-Yo) with a combination of immunoglobulins, cyclophosphamide, and methylprednisolone. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatr. 2000;68(4):479-82.
OBJECTIVES
To evaluate the effect of a combination of immunoglobulins (IVIg), cyclophosphamide (CTX), and methylprednisolone (MP) on the clinical course of patients with paraneoplastic neurological syndrome (PNS) and antineuronal antibodies (Abs).

METHODS
Seventeen patients with paraneoplastic encephalomyelitis/sensory neuropathy (PEM/SN) with anti-Hu Abs (n = 10) or cerebellar degeneration (PCD) with anti-Yo Abs (n = 7) received one to nine cycles (mean 3.5) of a combination of IVIg (0.5 g/kg/day from days 1 to 5), CTX (600 mg/m2 at day 1) and MP (1g/day from day 1 to 3). The Rankin scale (RS) was used to evaluate the response. A positive response was considered as either improvement or stabilisation in patients who were still ambulatory (RS< or =3) at the onset of treatment, whereas only improvement, and not stabilisation, was considered a therapeutic benefit in bedridden patients (RS> or =4).

RESULTS
Tolerance was good and no patient experienced grade 3/4 toxicity (World Health Organisation). Sixteen patients were evaluable for response. Of the seven patients with RS> or =4, none improved. Of the nine patients with RS< or =3, none improved but three (two SN and one PCD) stabilised for 4, 35, and 16 months.

CONCLUSIONS
This study suggests that vigorous immunosuppressive treatment is not useful in severely disabled PNS patients with antineuronal Abs. In a minority of patients (mainly with SN) who are not severely disabled at the onset of treatment, a transient stabilisation is possible and deserves further evaluation.