Cancer-associated retinopathy syndrome: a case of small cell lung cancer expressing recoverin immunoreactivity

Lung Cancer. 1996 Jun;14(2-3):265-71. doi: 10.1016/0169-5002(96)00552-1.


Cancer-associated retinopathy (CAR) syndrome is a rare paraneoplastic neuropathy syndrome often found in patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Serological studies have indicated that the process could include autoimmune reactions directing retinal antigens. Recently, the CAR antigen was identified as a photoreceptor protein, recoverin, by screening retinal proteins using the CAR patient's serum. The present case of SCLC showed rapidly deteriorated bilateral visual acuity lacking the inflammatory findings at the retina which were compatible with CAR. The immunohistochemical study revealed that the cancer cells expressed recoverin or recoverin-like immunoreactivity. This is the first observation in CAR syndrome. The presence of recoverin or recoverin-like immunoreactivity in SCLC with CAR syndrome supports the hypothesis that the cancer-retina immunologic cross-reaction contributes to visual loss in this syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / immunology
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / analysis*
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / chemistry*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / complications*
  • Eye Proteins*
  • Hippocalcin
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lipoproteins*
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications*
  • Male
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins*
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes / metabolism*
  • Recoverin
  • Retinal Diseases / etiology*
  • Retinal Diseases / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Eye Proteins
  • Lipoproteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RCVRN protein, human
  • Recoverin
  • Hippocalcin