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Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(3):314-325. doi:10.7150/ijbs.15001

Review

Pancreatic Cancer Genetics

Laufey T. Amundadottir

Laboratory of Translational Genomics, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Abstract

Although relatively rare, pancreatic tumors are highly lethal [1]. In the United States, an estimated 48,960 individuals will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 40,560 will die from this disease in 2015 [1]. Globally, 337,872 new pancreatic cancer cases and 330,391 deaths were estimated in 2012 [2]. In contrast to most other cancers, mortality rates for pancreatic cancer are not improving; in the US, it is predicted to become the second leading cause of cancer related deaths by 2030 [3, 4]. The vast majority of tumors arise in the exocrine pancreas, with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) accounting for approximately 95% of tumors. Tumors arising in the endocrine pancreas (pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors) represent less than 5% of all pancreatic tumors [5]. Smoking, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D), obesity and pancreatitis are the most consistent epidemiological risk factors for pancreatic cancer [5]. Family history is also a risk factor for developing pancreatic cancer with odds ratios (OR) ranging from 1.7-2.3 for first-degree relatives in most studies, indicating that shared genetic factors may play a role in the etiology of this disease [6-9]. This review summarizes the current knowledge of germline pancreatic cancer risk variants with a special emphasis on common susceptibility alleles identified through Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS).

Keywords: pancreatic tumors

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See http://ivyspring.com/terms for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Amundadottir LT. Pancreatic Cancer Genetics. Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(3):314-325. doi:10.7150/ijbs.15001. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v12p0314.htm