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Case report
Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration diagnosed by anti-Yo determination in a young woman with early breast cancer
  1. Oriol Mirallas,
  2. María Alejandra Rezqallah Arón,
  3. Nadia Saoudi Gonzalez and
  4. Santiago Escrivá-de-Romaní
  1. Medical Oncology Department, Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Oriol Mirallas; urimirallas{at}


A 44-year-old woman diagnosed with a HER2 positive early breast cancer, receiving neoadjuvant treatment with paclitaxel and targeted agents, trastuzumab together with pertuzumab, presented to the emergency room with gait instability and upper right limb weakness. The neurological examination was compatible with cerebellar alteration showing right dissymmetry of the finger-nose and heel-knee manoeuvre. A head CT and a brain MRI were performed and negative. The electromyography showed alterations of the pyramidal pathway and somatosensory pathway. In order to determine the cause of the cerebellar affection, a lumbar puncture was performed. The cerebrospinal fluid analysis was non-specific, but the antineuronal anti-Yo antibody was positive, being diagnosed of a paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD). A positron emission tomography CT ruled out metastatic disease. The patient completed four cycles of antiHER2 blockade and weekly paclitaxel, achieving a complete pathological response. One year later, she maintains a complete remission but the PCD still prevails.

  • immunology
  • brain stem / cerebellum
  • movement disorders (other than Parkinsons)
  • neurooncology
  • breast cancer

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  • Contributors OM wrote the first article draft, summarised each section, edited the images and reviewed the final version. MARA has drafted and critically reviewed the article and collected the images of the article. NSG has drafted some sections and critically reviewed the entire article. The final approval, expertise, mentorship and final revision were provided by SE-d-R.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.