Paraneoplastic Neurological Syndromes: Transitioning Between the Old and the New

Matteo Gastaldi, Silvia Scaranzin, Businaro Pietro, Anastasia Lechiara, Giampaola Pesce, Diego Franciotta, Lorenzo Lorusso

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Paraneoplastic neurological syndromes (PNS) are caused by nervous system-targeting aberrant anti-tumoral immune responses. We review the updated criteria for PNS diagnosis, incorporating novel information on clinical phenotypes, neuronal autoantibodies (Nabs), and tumors. The impact of the oncologic use of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) on PNS occurrence is also addressed. Recent Findings: Clinical phenotypes and Nabs are redefined as “high/intermediate/low” risk, following the frequency of cancer association. Nabs, the diagnostic hallmark of PNS, can target intracellular or surface neuronal proteins, with important prognostic and pathogenic implications. Many novel assays have been incorporated into laboratory diagnostics, that is becoming increasingly complex. ICI fight tumors, but favor autoimmunity, thus increasing the incidence of PNS-like disorders. Summary: Overcoming the old PNS criteria, the new ones are centered around the presence of tumor. Clinical presentation, Nabs, and tumor findings are translated in diagnostic scores, providing a useful tool for PNS diagnosis and management.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Oncology Reports
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Cell-based assays
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitors
  • Immunotherapy
  • Nervous system autoimmunity
  • Neuronal antibodies
  • Paraneoplastic neurological syndromes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Paraneoplastic Neurological Syndromes: Transitioning Between the Old and the New'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this