Malignancy and myositis: novel autoantibodies and new insights

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Purpose of reviewCurrently available data support the idea that inflammatory myopathies, particularly dermatomyositis, are paraneoplastic diseases. Cancer screening is usually recommended in patients with these conditions, but there is no consensus regarding how and how often screening should be performed. This review will address recent advances in our understanding of the relationship between cancer and myositis and describe new data regarding the best approach for cancer screening in myositis patients.Recent findingsA newly described autoantibody to a 155-kDa nuclear protein, identified as transcription intermediary factor 1-gamma (TIF1-γ), has proven useful for cancer screening in patients with dermatomyositis. Occult tumor detection by PET/computed tomography (PET/CT) seems to be a good alternative to broad conventional screening. A combination of both methods, detection of autoantibodies against p155 and PET/CT study, may be the best approach to ascertain the presence of occult malignancy in patients with dermatomyositis.SummaryAdvances in immunology and imaging techniques are increasing the accuracy of occult malignant cancer detection in dermatomyositis patients. Nevertheless, the diagnosis of cancer in this population remains elusive in some cases. Further investigation is needed to improve our knowledge of the link between myositis and cancer.

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