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 .
Paraneoplastic syndromes arise most commonly with small cell lung cancer as well as gynecological and hematological malignancies.
Paraneoplastic syndromes can affect multiple systems and have a diverse presentation. Some examples are given below :
- paraneoplastic endocrine syndromes
- paraneoplastic neurological syndromes
- paraneoplastic rheumatological/dermatological syndromes
- paraneoplastic hematologic syndromes
- miscellaneous paraneoplastic syndromes
History and etymology
Paraneoplastic comes from the Greek words for alongside (para), new (neo) and formation (plasis) .