Our objectives were to determine what clinical characteristics are common to the form of cancer-associated retinopathy (CAR) encountered in patients with small-cell carcinoma of the lung (SCCL). Is the 23-kd retinal CAR antigen/antibody reaction present in other forms of retinopathy? Can an antigen identical or similar to the 23-kd retinal CAR antigen be identified in an established culture of SCCL?
Ten patients with CAR who had SCCL were identified by their antibody reactivity with the 23-kd retinal CAR antigen. We inquired into common clinical characteristics by means of questionnaires to the referring physicians. We looked for antigen/antibody reactions with the 23-kd retinal CAR antigen in patients with diabetic and age-related macular degenerations and in a continuous, in vitro propagated culture of SCCL (HTB 119) obtained from the American Type Culture Collection.
We encountered many similar signs and symptoms in our patient population. These included rapid vision loss, night blindness, color loss, vitreous cells, and either flat or greatly reduced electroretinograms. No corollary to the 23-kd CAR antigen/antibody could be identified in unrelated retinopathies or cultured SCCL.
We conclude that patients with SCCL related CAR consistently produce antibodies against the 23-kd retinal CAR antigen. This immunologic reaction was not found in patients with unrelated retinopathies and may possibly represent a cancer marker for SCCL.
Thirkill CE, Keltner JL, Tyler NK, Roth AM. Antibody Reactions With Retina and Cancer-Associated Antigens in 10 Patients With Cancer-Associated Retinopathy. Arch Ophthalmol. 1993;111(7):931–937. doi:10.1001/archopht.1993.01090070049018
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