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J Gastrointest Cancer. 2011 Sep;42(3):160-4. doi: 10.1007/s12029-010-9197-1.

A 67-year-old woman with BRCA 1 mutation associated with pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

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  • 1Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.



There are approximately 40,000 new cases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma diagnosed in the USA each year. It is estimated that 5-10% of all patients with pancreatic cancer have a first-degree relative with the disease, while up to 20% of cases have a hereditary component. Individuals who carry a germline mutation in the BRCA 1 or 2 genes have an increased lifetime risk of developing pancreatic adenocarcinoma when compared with the general population.


Here, we present a case of metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma arising in a 67-year-old carrier of a BRCA 1 germline mutation.


In patients with known BRCA 1 or 2 mutation-associated pancreatic adenocarcinoma, the addition of a DNA cross-linking agent such as cisplatin, oxaliplatin, or mitomycin to a standard gemcitabine chemotherapy backbone should be considered. Poly ADP-ribose inhibitors are a novel class of drug, which have demonstrated promising efficacy in trials of BRCA 1 and 2 mutant breast and ovarian cancer, and are currently undergoing prospective evaluation in advanced pancreatic cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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