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Abstracts from the Association of British Neurologists Annual Meeting 2011
1600 The utility of SOX antibodies for cancer prediction in patients with paraneoplastic neurological disorders
  1. P Maddison,
  2. M J Titulaer,
  3. J J G Verschuuren,
  4. P Gozzard,
  5. B Lang,
  6. N Willcox,
  7. A Vincent,
  8. S R Irani,
  9. C J Chapman
  1. Nottingham University Hospitals, Leiden University Medical Centre, UK
  2. University of Oxford, UK
  3. University of Nottingham, UK


Recent studies have identified antibodies to the SOXB1 group of proteins in patients with paraneoplastic disorders (PNDs) associated with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), particularly Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS), but rarely in non-tumour LEMS, indicating that these antibodies may be useful paraneoplastic biomarkers. We aimed to establish if SOX antibodies could be used to identify underlying tumours in a range of PNDs, including control tumour groups. We established a SOX2 ELISA with high test-retest reproducibility. Positivity to SOX2 in control patients without neurological symptoms was 77/259 (30%) in SCLC, but only 15/238 (6%) in non-SCLC, 0/75 in breast cancer, 3/104 (3%) in ovarian cancer, and 12/414 (3%) in age matched healthy controls. Antibodies to SOX2 were detected in 39/71 (55%) patients with LEMS-SCLC, and 7/105 (6.6%) patients with non-tumour LEMS (p<0.0001). SOX2 antibodies were detected in 9/19 (47%) patients with paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, exclusively with co-existent LEMS (9/16), but not in idiopathic late onset cerebellar ataxia (0/23). We found SOX2 antibodies in 3/9 (33%) opsoclonus-myoclonus-SCLC patients, but in only 1/10 (10%) adult idiopathic OMS, but not at all in teratoma-related (0/8), or non-tumour associated (0/10) NMDAr antibody encephalitis, nor myasthenia with thymoma (0/28). Thus SOX2 antibodies are specific (>90%) markers for SCLC, but not other tumours, in patients with PNDs, particularly LEMS with or without ataxia.

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  • Email: paul.maddison{at}

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