Nature Reviews Neuroscience 14, 293-304 (April 2013) | doi:10.1038/nrn3464

OpinionInverse cancer comorbidity: a serendipitous opportunity to gain insight into CNS disorders

Rafael Tabarés-Seisdedos1 & John L. Rubenstein2  About the authors


Inverse comorbidity is a lower-than-expected probability of disease occuring in individuals who have been diagnosed with other medical conditions. Emerging evidence points to inverse cancer comorbidity in people with certain CNS disorders. In this Opinion article, we discuss the evidence for this intriguing association and possible underlying mechanisms. We believe that this association is an invaluable opportunity to gain insight into the pathogenesis of these diseases, and understanding why certain individuals with CNS disorders are protected against many different types of cancer could help to develop new and improved treatments.

Author affiliations

  1. Rafael Tabars-Seisdedos is at the Department of Medicine, University of Valencia, CIBERSAM, INCLIVA, Blasco-Ibez 15, Valencia 46010, Spain.
  2. John L. Rubenstein is at the Nina Ireland Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.

Correspondence to: Rafael Tabarés-Seisdedos1 Email:

Correspondence to: John L. Rubenstein2 Email:

Published online 20 March 2013