Non-small-cell lung cancer associated with excessive eosinophilia and secretion of interleukin-5 as a paraneoplastic syndrome

Am J Hematol. 2007 Mar;82(3):234-7. doi: 10.1002/ajh.20789.


Eosinophilia associated with solid tumors is an infrequent occurrence. The pathogenesis of tumor-associated eosinophilia is not well understood. Interleukin-5 (IL-5) is a cytokine that has been implicated in the development of eosinophilia in mice and humans. However, there is little data associating IL-5 production with eosinophilia in the presence of tumor. We report, in a patient with locally advanced NSCLC, the presence of excessive eosinophilia and elevated serum IL-5 levels at diagnosis. Immunohistochemical staining of the primary tumor showed large amounts of intracellular IL-5. Both eosinophil count and IL-5 levels normalized after surgical removal of the tumor. Tumor-associated eosinophilia observed in this case is mediated by IL-5. The production of IL-5 is related to the presence of the tumor.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / blood*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery
  • Eosinophilia / blood*
  • Eosinophils / cytology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interleukin-5 / blood
  • Interleukin-5 / metabolism*
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lung Neoplasms / blood*
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / immunology
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes / blood*
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes / immunology
  • Radiography


  • Interleukin-5