Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and malignancy: A systematic review

Muscle Nerve. 2018 Jun;57(6):875-883. doi: 10.1002/mus.26028. Epub 2017 Dec 20.


A systematic review of the literature was performed on the association of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) with malignancy. Hematological disorders are the most common association, particulalry non-Hodgkin lymphoma. CIDP frequently precedes the malignancy diagnosis, and there is a favorable CIDP response to treatment more than 70% of the time. Melanoma is the second most common association and may be accompanied by antiganglioside antibodies; CIDP shows a good response to immunotherapy. Other cancers are rare, with variable timings and presentations but good responses to immunomodulation and/or cancer therapy. Unusual neurological features such as ataxia, distal/upper limb predominance, or cranial/respiratory/autonomic involvement may suggest associated malignancy as may abdominal pain, diarrhea/constipation, poor appetite/weight loss, dermatological lesions, and lymphadenopathy. In the appropriate clinical and electrophysiological setting, CIDP associated with cancer should be considered. Immunomodulatory therapy, cancer treatment alone, or a combination may be effective. Muscle Nerve 57: 875-883, 2018.

Keywords: cancer; carcinoma; chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy; lymphoma; malignancy; melanoma.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating / complications*
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating / therapy