Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

INTRODUCTION: The Lambert Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) is a paraneoplastic disorder associated with raised serum voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) antibodies in patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC). VGCC can also be found in patients with SCLC and cerebellar ataxia. This was a prospective study to assess the incidence of clinical and subclinical LEMS or other neurologic disease in patients with SCLC. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Sixty-three unselected patients with cytologically or histologically confirmed SCLC consented to participate. Pretreatment assessment included a neurologic symptom questionnaire, examination for physical signs of LEMS or ataxia, measurement of serum titers of antibodies to P/Q-type VGCCs by radioimmunoassay in all patients and electrophysiological examination where appropriate. RESULTS: Neurologic symptoms unrelated to LEMS occurred in 26% of patients. Five patients (8%) had raised serum VGCC antibodies (range, 69-1553 pM/l) diagnostic of LEMS, two (3%) of whom had LEMS on clinical and electrophysiological grounds. Both also had mild cerebellar ataxia. There was no association between serum VGCC antibody titer and survival. CONCLUSION: Routine measurement of VGCC antibodies in patients without clinical LEMS is unlikely to assist either in management of SCLC or in assessment of prognosis.

Original publication

DOI

10.1097/JTO.0b013e3181c3f4f1

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Thorac Oncol

Publication Date

01/2010

Volume

5

Pages

34 - 38

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Autoantibodies, Calcium Channels, Cohort Studies, Female, Humans, Incidence, Ion Channel Gating, Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome, Lung Neoplasms, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Staging, Prognosis, Prospective Studies, Radioimmunoassay, Small Cell Lung Carcinoma, Survival Rate