GBS & Cancer

    • Anonymous
      July 18, 2008 at 1:49 pm

      I was wondering if there is a higher risk of cancer in GBS patience? Let me know.

    • Anonymous
      July 18, 2008 at 1:55 pm

      I was given different theories… is that your body is at a low point and it lets the cancer cells take over as they are now stronger than your body’s defense against it. The other theory is that the cancer was already growing and it weakened the body’s defense and your body produced the autoimmune response with GBS. In my case they didn’t really decide which came first.

    • Anonymous
      July 19, 2008 at 2:54 am

      Hi Kinney, How ya been doin? I can’t say for sure either way either. I have read there is a higher incidence of cancer in gbs/cidp patients, but as with any other theory, it really hasn’t been proven enough either way yet. I had ovarian cancer less than 1 yr prior to my first paralysis, but I really can’t say I had cancer before gbs/cidp started because I had all the cidp symptoms prior to my cancer for many years. Since cancer is an autoimmune thing, I think it goes to say as with other autoimmune diseases-once you have one you are more likely to have others, more prone to have more. But of course more studys need to be done to either prove it or disprove it. Take care.

    • Anonymous
      July 20, 2008 at 11:51 am

      Hi, I’ve been wondering the same thing! Cancer & GBS. I have been thinking that I am not being told everything by my docs. After being on the forum for several months and reading the posts. It seemed that posters have more than just GBS-CIDP and it scared me. I took a break from the forum for two months come back and learn of Gene’s passing from leukemia and that Doc David also passed away. I had chatted with Gene some and he had a wealth of information and had some great advice for me. I should have asked him about this very subject… This definitely a question going on the top of my list for the next neuro visit!

    • Anonymous
      September 11, 2008 at 11:15 am

      I was diagnosed August 13 with secondary bone marrow cancer that metastesized from breast cancer in91. Doctor believes because of low iblemmune(have pernisicuos anemia, myasthenis gravise and GBS) I was susceptible.


    • Anonymous
      September 11, 2008 at 4:01 pm

      Peggy, I’m so sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis. Take care and good luck and Huga to you!

    • Anonymous
      September 12, 2008 at 7:35 am

      I am sorry to hear your news. Keep fighting! Look at what you have overcome to this point! You are in my thoughts and prayers. Keep us posted with your progress.

    • Anonymous
      September 12, 2008 at 8:30 am

      Hi Peggy! So sorry to hear this my friend. Looks like we both are in simular shoes. I think it may be due to a weak immune system. Our immune systems get weak and the cancer comes in place. With no exercise and probably our diets too that can play a role in getting cancer.
      And too, many of us have to take immune supressing drugs that can make our bodies more vunerable.
      Just an example here. I have Systemic Lupus the prednisone in later years caused my lining of my stomach to no longer absorb B-12. Now I have thyroid cancer with surgery coming up. Without the drugs back in 1993 until now. Which is 15 years. Many years ago anybody that got diagnosed with Lupus barely survived because of the lack of medical technology back then. So many woman that got this disease died from it. Those drugs gave me 15 years of life that the other women in the older days didn’t have. And I had CNS Lupus back then and would have died! No doubt about that one. But instead I gained 15 years because of those immune suppressing drugs. When you take these drugs for a long period of time they can eventually weaken your immune system causing other problems. 15 years later! Systemic Lupus. Asthma, A Pernious Anemia, CIDP and now Cancer of the Thyroid!

    • Anonymous
      September 12, 2008 at 7:37 pm

      Thank you Smiley, Jan and Linda. When is your surgery, Linda. You are in my prayers, all of you who have been afflicted with auto immune diseases.


    • Anonymous
      September 14, 2008 at 10:07 am

      Dear Friends,

      In order to better understand this issue, we must take a look at the surrounding elements involved in the Immune System – without looking at the whole system:


      1. Lymphocytes occur in two generaal types. T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes.

      2. [B]T lymphocytes[/B] are developed in the bone marrow and migrate to the thymus where they become imprinted. (a). T cells provide [B]cell-mediated immunity[/B] against viruses, fungi, transplanted human cells and cancer cells.

      3. [B]B lymphocytes[/B] are developed in the bone marrow and are responsible for [B]humoral immunity[/B] against bacterial and fungal infections.

      Functions of T lymphocytes

      A. Types of T lymphocytes

      1. [B]Killer T Cells[/B] destroy cells that are identified by specific antigens on their cell surface. This is termed [B]cell-mediated immunity[/B] as the T cells come in physical contact with the destroyed cell.

      2. Helper and suppressor T cells regulate the responses of B cells and killer T cells. (a) [B]helper T cells[/B] increase the activity of B cells and killer T cells and [B]suppressor T cells[/B] decrease their activities.

      3. T cells and macrophages (function in the destruction of foreign antigens (bacteria/viruses) secrete polypeptides (molecular chain of amino acids) that regulate many aspects of the immune system. These products are called cytokines (interleukin or interferon), or lymphokines if secreted by lymphocytes.

      4. T cells do not make antibodies and have no antibodies on their surface. They have specific antigen receptors on their membrane surface. (a) T cells can’t combine to free antigens. Antigens must be presented to them by [B]antigen-presenting cells[/B] such as macrophages. (b) the macrophages have antigens on their surface called [B]histocompatibility antigens[/B] which identify them as belonging to the host. These antigens are called [B]MHC[/B] antigens after the gene which codes for their manufacture.

      B. Interactions between macrophages and T lymphocytes

      1. The MHC genes produce two classes of molecules: (a) class 1 are made by all cells in the body except red blood cells. (b) class 2 are made only by macrophages and B lymphocytes.

      2. Killer T cells can interact only with antigens presented with class 1 MHC molecules; helper T cells can interact only with antigens presented with class 2 MHC molecules.

      3. When a foreign particle such as a virus enters the body the following sequence of events occurs: (a) a macrophage digests the particle and foreign antigens are moved to the surface of the cell membrane to form a complex with the class 2 MHC molecules. (b) the macrophage presents the antigen to a helper T cell and sttimulates it to secrete a cytokine (interleukin 1). (c) interleukin 1 stimulates cell division of helper T cells which secrete [B]macrophage colony stimulating factor[/B] to stimulate macrophage division and [B]interleukin 2[/B] which stimulates division of killer T cells. (d) killer T cells destroy cells infected with virus particles. (e) helper T cells also stimulate the activity of B cells which secrete antibodies.

      4. Antibodies are usually only produced against non-self antigens and not self antigens. This is called immunological [B]tolerance.[/B]

      C. Tumor Immunology

      1. Tumor antigens activate the immune system and promote an attack by killer T cells and natural killer cells. (a) natural killer cells destroy tumors in a non-specific fashion and do not require prior exposure for sensitization to the tumor antigens.

      2. According to the concept of [B]immunological surveillance[/B] against cancer, the immune system constantly recognizes and destroys tumor cells.

      V. Diseases caused by the immune system

      A. Autoimmunity

      1. When the immune system doesn’t recognize and tolerate self-antigens it causes an autoimmune disease by the production of antibodies against self-antigens.

      2. Autoimmune diseases can result from several different mechanisms: (a) an antigen that does not normally circulate in the blood may become exposed to the immune system. (b) antibodies may be produced aainst other antibodies. (c) antibodies may cross react with self-antigens.

      B. Allergies

      [B]1. Allergies[/B] are abnormal immune responses to antigens or [B]allergens.[/B]
      2. There are two types of allergy: (a) [B]immediate hypersensitivity -[/B]a B cell response that can produce symptoms within minutes. (b) [B]delayed hypersensitivity -[/B]a T cell response that can produce symptoms within 48 hours.

      Regards to all.


    • Anonymous
      September 14, 2008 at 7:50 pm

      I did some looking into this topic because of interest and because there was some concern that I might have bone marrow cancer (multiple myeloma) when I first got sick. There are a couple of papers that indicate that the risk of cancer is greater in people that also have/will get GBS. The best paper is by Vigliani and coauthors, Journal of Neurology, 2004, vol 251, p 321. They looked at a group of people with an acute peripheral neuropathy (of otherwise unknown cause) diagnosed with cancer 6 months earlier or later than the peripheral neuropathy diagnosis. They used a strict criteria for GBS/AIDP. They found the relative risk of someone having cancer with GBS to be 2.4 compared to someone without GBS. This means that a person has 2.4 times the risk of cancer if they have GBS. The numbers are small–they looked at 435 people with acute neuropathy and found 9 cases of cancer diagnosed in this interval. It is important to note that the confidence interval for the relative risk did not include 1 meaning that even with two rare events (cancer and GBS) in a study of 400+ people, there was a greater risk of having cancer if you had GBS than expected in the population.

      Another paper was Antoine and coauthors, Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 1999, vol 67, p 7. They found that 6% of people with GBS also had cancer although the criteria were not as rigorous as in the above.
      It is worth noting that the kind of cancer is very variable (Hodgkins, lung, CLL, kidney, GI, head and neck, plasma cell dyscrasia/multiple myeloma, other carcinomas and lymphomas, etc.) and the course of the GBS and cancer may be distinct. This argues that the association is more likely a problem in the immune system being the cause for both (reduction in immune surveillance predisposing to cancer and alteration in immune regulation dredisposing to the autoimmune neuropathy). The other theory proposed is that a new protein made by the cancer might predispose to the autoimmune neuropathy by having a similar protein on the nerves. When the body tries to fight the cancer, it also ends up attacking the nerves because of the similarity. It is harder to argue this if there are a number of different cancers that are associated with GBS.


    • September 14, 2008 at 11:33 pm

      What would we do without our With Hope!!!
      Dawn Kevies mom

    • Anonymous
      September 15, 2008 at 2:14 am

      Well Jethro and Hope both had some pretty good info and was very scientific. Thank-you for the information. I think many of us are prone to getting cancer because of a lower immune system. And then we have perfectly healthy people getting cancer. Lifestyles and genes too can be a factor! Along with all the chemicals we are exposed to today. Chemicals in our food, cosmetics, even the air we breathe. Sometimes longterm exposure around chemicals can cause cancers. Working in a factory and taking in that chemical every single day has got to take some effects sooner or later. But some very good points here!

    • Anonymous
      September 15, 2008 at 8:42 am

      Good Job and Thank you Jethro and With Hope. Good explanations and research!!

    • Anonymous
      September 17, 2008 at 12:13 am

      What started as a simple question by Kinney ended with good research by Jthro and With Hope That’s what makes this forum so special and caring.


    • Anonymous
      September 17, 2008 at 4:55 pm

      The sharing with each other our knowledge is very learning indeed. I have learned so much in here and so many share with kindness! 😀