Immunotherapy of the Paraneoplastic Syndromes

2014-08-27 03:42:27 | BioPortfolio


We treat a subset of patients with paraneoplastic neurologic disorders, including those with Yo-mediated paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD), the Hu syndrome, which is most commonly associated with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) - paraneoplastic subacute sensory neuropathy, encephalomyelitis, limbic encephalopathy, autonomic neuropathy - and the Ri Syndrome (a.k.a. POMA - Paraneoplastic Opsoclonus-Myoclonus Ataxia), as well as those patients suspected to have a paraneoplastic neurologic disorder but in whom a characteristic antibody has not yet been identified. Our treatment protocol consists of immune suppression therapy using tacrolimus (FK506), a potent inhibitor of lymphocyte proliferation that is commonly used to prevent organ transplant rejection.


patients may stay either in-hospital while being treated with Tacrolimus, receive treatment as an outpatient, or a combination of the two. Additionally, patients who are too sick to be treated at Rockefeller University (eg. patients actively seizing), but are in need of urgent treatment, may be treated at either Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center or New York-Presbyterian Hospital in conjunction with MDs there. Dr. Robert Darnell, being credentialed at both institutions, will be the primary person responsible for monitoring all portions of the study performed at MSKCC and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. During treatment, patients will undergo blood draws, at set intervals (see section g below), clinical evaluation, possibly repeat leukapheresis or large volume blood draw, and lumbar puncture (see below). Since many patients live far away from NY, some of these procedures may be performed by RU staff or in conjunction with their local MDs.

Patients who are terminated from Tacrolimus treatment after 7-21 days will be followed up as outpatients for evaluation of their neurologic and medical status. Wherever possible, these patients will be seen on days 3 and 10 post treatment termination, and then on a biweekly basis for two months. Since many patients live far away from NY, they may instead be monitored in conjunction with their local MDs. Patients who show a definite clinical response to Tacrolimus may be maintained on a therapeutic dose for up to one year, and will be followed as outpatients. For patients receiving retreatment, they may be treated as inpatients or on an outpatient basis, at the discretion of the PI, on the same schedule as patients being treated initially (see 10.g.). Long term improvement or decline in neurologic function will be objectively assessed by neurologic exam, which will be quantified by use of the Karnofsky scale (a measure of functional neurologic status). Since the vast majority of Hu patients decline over a 6-12 month period following diagnosis, a stable or improved Karnofsky score over such a time period will be taken as a measure of successful treatment. Repeat lumbar puncture (up to eight per year) and leukapheresis or large volume blood draw (approx. 100 cc) may be performed (up to four of each per year), especially in the setting of neurologic change, to assess the immune responses to the medications.

Study Design

Allocation: Non-Randomized, Control: Uncontrolled, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Paraneoplastic Syndromes


Tacrolimus (FK506)


Rockefeller University Hospital
New York
New York
United States




Rockefeller University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:42:27-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A 12-KDa tacrolimus binding protein that is found associated with and may modulate the function of calcium release channels. It is a peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerase which is inhibited by both tacrolimus (commonly called FK506) and SIROLIMUS.

A family of immunophilin proteins that bind to the immunosuppressive drugs TACROLIMUS (also known as FK506) and SIROLIMUS. EC 5.2.1.-

Syndromes resulting from inappropriate production of HORMONES or hormone-like materials by NEOPLASMS in non-endocrine tissues or not by the usual ENDOCRINE GLANDS. Such hormone outputs are called ectopic hormone (HORMONES, ECTOPIC) secretion.

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