Cellular immune suppression in paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes targeting intracellular antigens

Dana Orange, Mayu Frank, Suyan Tian, Athanasios Dousmanis, Ronen Marmur, Noreen Buckley, Salina Parveen, Jerome J. Graber, Nathalie Blachère, Robert B. Darnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Tumor treatment is the mainstay of therapy for paraneoplastic neurologic disorders (PNDs), but it is only effective in some cases and other treatment options are limited. Objective: To evaluate the short-term use of a combination of prednisone and tacrolimus for acute neurologic worsening in PND in which intracellular antigens are targeted. Design: Retrospective single-center case series of patients with PND treated with tacrolimus. Setting: The Rockefeller University Hospital, a research hospital in New York, New York. Patients: Twenty-six patients with PND with high titer (≥1:1000) anti-HuD, anti-Yo, or anti-CRMP5 autoantibodies were enrolled. Patients were referred from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center or self-referred. Two patients discontinued intervention owing to adverse events. Interventions: Patients were treated with tacrolimus, 0.15-0.30 mg/kg per day, in 2 divided oral doses with 60 mg per day of oral prednisone, tapered off during 1 to 4 weeks. Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome measure was median survival. Neurologic examinations before and after treatment as well as adverse events are described. Results: Median survival time was 52 months from time of diagnosis. Some patients experienced neurologic improvement that was functionally meaningful. The incidence of adverse events was similar to that generally reported with tacrolimus. Conclusions: A short course of prednisone and tacrolimus to target central nervous system T cells in patients with PND with acute neurologic decline in which intracellular antigens are targeted was well tolerated and warrants further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1132-1140
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Neurology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology

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