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Second primary tumor in anti-Ma1/2-positive paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis

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Memory loss can be a symptom of paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis (PLE) a neuropsychiatric disorder associated mostly with small-cell lung cancer and anti-Hu antibodies or with testicular tumors and anti-Ma2 antibodies. We present the case of a patient with temporal coincidence of beginning cognitive decline and diagnosis of a carcinoma of the prostate in whom we diagnosed anti-Ma1/Ma2-positive PLE. The tumor had been completely resected but memory impairment further deteriorated. As the effective treatment of the cancer is considered as the most efficient treatment of a paraneoplastic neurological syndrome (PNS) a second neoplasia was suspected in the patient. By the aid of whole body positron emission tomography with 18-fluorine fluoro-2-deoxy-glucose (FDG-PET) an adenocarcinoma of the cecum could be detected. Two months after surgery anti-Ma antibodies were negative. We conclude that a second neoplasia should be considered, if effective cancer treatment does not lead to improvement or stabilisation of a PNS. Tumor search should be exhaustive and include PET when conventional imaging fails to show a malignancy.

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We thank M. Reimold, PET-Center of the University of Tübingen, for kindly providing the PET images of the described patient.

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Correspondence to T. Leyhe.

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Leyhe, T., Schüle, R., Schwärzler, F. et al. Second primary tumor in anti-Ma1/2-positive paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis . J Neurooncol 78, 49–51 (2006).

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