Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and malignancy: a systematic review

Yusuf A. Rajabally*, Shahram Attarian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


A systematic review of the literature was performed on the association of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) with malignancy. Hematological disorders are the most common association, particulalry non-Hodgkin lymphoma. CIDP frequently precedes the malignancy diagnosis, and there is a favorable CIDP response to treatment more than 70% of the time. Melanoma is the second most common association and may be accompanied by antiganglioside antibodies; CIDP shows a good response to immunotherapy. Other cancers are rare, with variable timings and presentations but good responses to immunomodulation and/or cancer therapy. Unusual neurological features such as ataxia, distal/upper limb predominance, or cranial/respiratory/autonomic involvement may suggest associated malignancy as may abdominal pain, diarrhea/constipation, poor appetite/weight loss, dermatological lesions, and lymphadenopathy. In the appropriate clinical and electrophysiological setting, CIDP associated with cancer should be considered. Immunomodulatory therapy, cancer treatment alone, or a combination may be effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-883
Number of pages9
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number6
Early online date1 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2018


  • Cancer
  • Carcinoma
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Lymphoma
  • Malignancy
  • Melanoma


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