Future Aspects

PNS research has progressed considerably during the past 20 years. The classification of separate disease entities and the improved diagnostic possibilities offered by antibody detection have contributed much to the increased clinical awareness of PNS. Progress made in the research of these diseases has not only elucidated the underlying mechanisms but has also brought new insight into tumor immunology in general. Nevertheless, many questions remain unanswered. The pathogenesis of the PNS and the effects of the immune reponses on a growing tumor are still uncertain. The PNS represents a therapeutic challenge, and new treatment strategies need to be designed. New antibody targets will be identified in the future, and the presence of ion channel antibodies in both paraneoplastic and nonparaneoplastic disease is of great interest. Finally, an unresolved issue is why so few patients develop PNS, although tumors frequently express onconeural antigens. Hopefully, future research can expand knowledge of the probable dysregulation of the immune system in these individuals and yield insight that can be applied not only to PNS but also to other autoimmune diseases.


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