A new discovery has been made with the help of large DNA
analysis of humans, which says that there are several genetic markers to spot
The scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
that the markers were variations in the inherited DNA code at particular
locations along chromosomes, and many of them signaled the increased risk of
developing the highly lethal disease.
They analyzed DNA from 7,683 patients with pancreatic cancer
and 14,397 control patients without this cancer, all of European descent, from
the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia.
Brian Wolpin, MD, MPH, first author of the report, said that
the results confirmed the presence of four risk associated SNPs that had been
identified in a previous, smaller genome-wide association study (GWAS).
In addition, five new risk markers were discovered and a
sixth that was of borderline statistical significance. The risks associated to
each SNP or marker were largely independent and additive, so that they may have
utility in future attempts to identify individuals in the general population at
higher risk for pancreatic cancer.
The average lifetime risk of pancreatic cancer is 1.5%. Pancreatic
cancer is a cancer that occurs in the cells lining the ducts or the islet cells
of the pancreas, a digestive organ that sits in the upper abdomen surrounded by
the stomach, small intestine, liver, spleen and gall bladder.
The study is published online by Nature Genetics