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Vol. 5, No. 3, 2012
Issue release date: September – December
Open Access Gateway
Case Rep Oncol 2012;5:616–621
(DOI:10.1159/000345692)

Breast Cancer Presents with a Paraneoplastic Neurologic Syndrome

Barata P.C.a · Morgado J.b · Sousa A.P.b · Duarte de Oliveira S.a · Custódio M.P.a · da Costa L.B.a · Esteves Pena J.b
aOncology Department and bNeurology Department, Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Central, Lisboa, Portugal
email Corresponding Author

Abstract

Background: Paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes (PNS) pose quite an uncommon neurological complication, affecting less than 1% of patients with breast cancer. Nearly one third of these patients lack detectable onconeural antibodies (ONAs), and improvement in neurologic deficits with concomitant cancer treatments is achieved in less than 30% of cases. Case Presentation: A 42-year-old, premenopausal woman presented with facial paralysis on the central left side accompanied by a left tongue deviation, an upward vertical nystagmus, moderate spastic paraparesis, dystonic posturing of the left foot, lower limb hyperreflexia and bilateral extensor plantar reflex. After ruling out all other potential neurologic causes, PNS was suspected but no ONAs were found. A PET-CT scan detected increased metabolism in the right breast, as well as an ipsilateral thoracic interpectoral adenopathy. Core biopsy confirmed the presence of an infiltrating duct carcinoma. After breast surgery, the neurologic symptoms disappeared. One week later, the patient was readmitted to the hospital with a bilateral fatigable eyelid ptosis, and two weeks later, there was a noticeable improvement in eyelid ptosis, accompanied by a rapid and progressive development of lower spastic paraparesis. She started adjuvant treatment with chemotherapy with marked clinical and neurological improvement, and by the end of radiotherapy, there were no signs of neurologic impairment. Conclusion: This case study highlights the importance of a high level of vigilance for the detection of PNS, even when ONAs are not detected, as the rapid identification and treatment of the underlying tumor offers the best chance for a full recovery.


 Outline


 goto top of outline Key Words

  • Paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes
  • Breast cancer
  • Onconeural antibodies

 goto top of outline Abstract

Background: Paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes (PNS) pose quite an uncommon neurological complication, affecting less than 1% of patients with breast cancer. Nearly one third of these patients lack detectable onconeural antibodies (ONAs), and improvement in neurologic deficits with concomitant cancer treatments is achieved in less than 30% of cases. Case Presentation: A 42-year-old, premenopausal woman presented with facial paralysis on the central left side accompanied by a left tongue deviation, an upward vertical nystagmus, moderate spastic paraparesis, dystonic posturing of the left foot, lower limb hyperreflexia and bilateral extensor plantar reflex. After ruling out all other potential neurologic causes, PNS was suspected but no ONAs were found. A PET-CT scan detected increased metabolism in the right breast, as well as an ipsilateral thoracic interpectoral adenopathy. Core biopsy confirmed the presence of an infiltrating duct carcinoma. After breast surgery, the neurologic symptoms disappeared. One week later, the patient was readmitted to the hospital with a bilateral fatigable eyelid ptosis, and two weeks later, there was a noticeable improvement in eyelid ptosis, accompanied by a rapid and progressive development of lower spastic paraparesis. She started adjuvant treatment with chemotherapy with marked clinical and neurological improvement, and by the end of radiotherapy, there were no signs of neurologic impairment. Conclusion: This case study highlights the importance of a high level of vigilance for the detection of PNS, even when ONAs are not detected, as the rapid identification and treatment of the underlying tumor offers the best chance for a full recovery.

Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel


 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Pedro Miguel Coelho Barata, MD
Oncology Department, Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Central
Alameda dos Capuchos
PT–1169-070 Lisboa (Portugal)
E-Mail pedrobarat@gmail.com


 goto top of outline Article Information

Published online: November 20, 2012
Number of Print Pages : 6
Number of Figures : 3,


 goto top of outline Publication Details

Case Reports in Oncology

Vol. 5, No. 3, Year 2012 (Cover Date: September - December)

Journal Editor: Markman M. (Philadelphia, Pa.)
ISSN: 1662-6575 (Print), eISSN: 1662-6575 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/CRO


Open Access License / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer

Open Access License: This is an Open Access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC) (www.karger.com/OA-license), applicable to the online version of the article only. Distribution permitted for non-commercial purposes only.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

Abstract

Background: Paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes (PNS) pose quite an uncommon neurological complication, affecting less than 1% of patients with breast cancer. Nearly one third of these patients lack detectable onconeural antibodies (ONAs), and improvement in neurologic deficits with concomitant cancer treatments is achieved in less than 30% of cases. Case Presentation: A 42-year-old, premenopausal woman presented with facial paralysis on the central left side accompanied by a left tongue deviation, an upward vertical nystagmus, moderate spastic paraparesis, dystonic posturing of the left foot, lower limb hyperreflexia and bilateral extensor plantar reflex. After ruling out all other potential neurologic causes, PNS was suspected but no ONAs were found. A PET-CT scan detected increased metabolism in the right breast, as well as an ipsilateral thoracic interpectoral adenopathy. Core biopsy confirmed the presence of an infiltrating duct carcinoma. After breast surgery, the neurologic symptoms disappeared. One week later, the patient was readmitted to the hospital with a bilateral fatigable eyelid ptosis, and two weeks later, there was a noticeable improvement in eyelid ptosis, accompanied by a rapid and progressive development of lower spastic paraparesis. She started adjuvant treatment with chemotherapy with marked clinical and neurological improvement, and by the end of radiotherapy, there were no signs of neurologic impairment. Conclusion: This case study highlights the importance of a high level of vigilance for the detection of PNS, even when ONAs are not detected, as the rapid identification and treatment of the underlying tumor offers the best chance for a full recovery.



 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Pedro Miguel Coelho Barata, MD
Oncology Department, Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Central
Alameda dos Capuchos
PT–1169-070 Lisboa (Portugal)
E-Mail pedrobarat@gmail.com


 goto top of outline Article Information

Published online: November 20, 2012
Number of Print Pages : 6
Number of Figures : 3,


 goto top of outline Publication Details

Case Reports in Oncology

Vol. 5, No. 3, Year 2012 (Cover Date: September - December)

Journal Editor: Markman M. (Philadelphia, Pa.)
ISSN: 1662-6575 (Print), eISSN: 1662-6575 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/CRO


Open Access License / Drug Dosage

Open Access License: This is an Open Access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC) (www.karger.com/OA-license), applicable to the online version of the article only. Distribution permitted for non-commercial purposes only.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.