Autoimmune basis for visual paraneoplastic syndrome in patients with small-cell lung carcinoma

Lancet. 1985 Mar 23;1(8430):658-61. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(85)91326-1.


Unexplained neurological disorders sometimes develop in patients with cancer, even when the primary tumour or its metastases have not invaded the central nervous system. Visual dysfunction in patients with small-cell carcinoma of the lung is one of these paraneoplastic syndromes and is associated with serum auto-antibodies which react with specific subsets of retinal neurons. These sera have now been shown to react with cell lines derived from small-cell carcinoma. The antibodies recognise a small number of antigens shared by retinal and tumour cells, suggesting that an autoimmune response may be triggered by the tumour.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antigens / analysis
  • Autoantibodies / analysis*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes / immunology*
  • Retina / immunology
  • Vision Disorders / immunology*


  • Antigens
  • Autoantibodies