Having a family member under 50 diagnosed with pancreatic cancer increases risk

Jan 13, 2010

A person who has multiple family members with pancreatic cancer ("familial pancreatic cancer") is six times as likely to develop that cancer. This risk is even higher, nine times that of the general population, if one of their relatives developed their cancer under the age of 50, according to a new study published online January 12 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Young-onset cancer is a hallmark of many familial cancer syndromes, but it was not clear whether family members of young-onset familial patients were at greater risk than family members of older-onset patients.

Alison P. Klein, Ph.D., at Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues compared the observed incidence of pancreatic cancer in over 9,000 individuals from 1,718 families. Standardized incidence ratios for familial pancreatic cancer and for sporadic pancreatic cancer were calculated with data from the National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry (http://pathology.jhu.edu/pancreas/nfptr/) and compared with those from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database.

Relatives of familial pancreatic cancer patients had a more than six-fold higher incidence of pancreatic cancer than the general population. Those with relatives diagnosed before the age of 50 years had a more than ninefold higher incidence. In contrast, individuals with just a single relative with pancreatic cancer were at twice the risk of pancreatic cancer whether or not the relative with pancreatic cancer was diagnosed before or after the age of 50.

"These data should help to further inform risk assessment and subsequent early detection screening of individuals at high risk of developing pancreatic cancer," the authors write.

Study limitations: Some FPC family members underwent pancreatic cancer screening, which could have increased or hastened disease detection. Also, often data were obtained from a next of kin proxy, and only 66% of prospective cancers could be confirmed by medical records.

Explore further: Second-line cetuximab active beyond progression in quadruple wild-type patients with mCRC

Related Stories

Birth records hold pancreatic cancer clue

Aug 16, 2007

Pregnancies in Jerusalem in the 1960s and 1970s may hold vital clues about how pancreatic cancer and diabetes are linked. According to research published in the online open access journal BMC Medicine, women with a history ...

Two or more drinks a day may increase pancreatic cancer risk

Mar 03, 2009

Men and women who consume two or more alcoholic drinks a day could increase their risk of developing pancreatic cancer, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the Am ...

COX-2 inhibitors delay pancreatic cancer precursors in mice

Aug 01, 2007

Nimesulide, a cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor, delays the progression of precancerous pancreatic lesions in mice, according to researchers at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. While inflammation has been shown to ...

Low levels of key protein may indicate pancreatic cancer risk

Aug 15, 2007

A protein that dwindles in response to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle may one day help doctors predict which people are at increased risk for pancreatic cancer, new research by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and collaborating ...

Recommended for you

Spicy treatment the answer to aggressive cancer?

Jul 03, 2015

It has been treasured by food lovers for thousands of years for its rich golden colour, peppery flavour and mustardy aroma…and now turmeric may also have a role in fighting cancer.

Cancer survivors who smoke perceive less risk from tobacco

Jul 02, 2015

Cancer survivors who smoke report fewer negative opinions about smoking, have more barriers to quitting, and are around other smokers more often than survivors who had quit before or after their diagnosis, according to a ...

Melanoma mutation rewires cell metabolism

Jul 02, 2015

A mutation found in most melanomas rewires cancer cells' metabolism, making them dependent on a ketogenesis enzyme, researchers at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have discovered.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.