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Carcinoma associated paraneoplastic peripheral neuropathy
  1. JOSEP DALMAU
  1. Department of Neurology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Ave, New York, NY 10021, USA. Fax 001 212 717 3519; email:dalmauj@mskcc.org

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    In patients with cancer, the development of a peripheral neuropathy usually represents a side effect of therapy, the infiltration of nerves or spinal roots by the tumour, or metabolic and nutritional deficits. A neuropathy is defined as paraneoplastic when none of the above causes are detected or when cancer related immunological mechanisms are involved. At least 15% of patients with cancer develop a paraneoplastic sensorimotor neuropathy, which is usually mild and develops during the terminal stage of the disease.1 There is another group of paraneoplastic neuropathies that often precede the diagnosis of the tumour and can be more debilitating than the cancer …

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