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J Gastroenterol. 2011 Nov;46(11):1249-59. doi: 10.1007/s00535-011-0457-z. Epub 2011 Aug 17.

Familial pancreatic cancer and hereditary syndromes: screening strategy for high-risk individuals.

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  • 1Division of Endoscopy, Shizuoka Cancer Center, 1007 Shimonagakubo, Nagaizumi, Suntogun, Shizuoka 411-8777, Japan.


Globally, and almost evenly across nations, a familial disposition can be found in 4-10% of patients with pancreatic cancer (PC). A family history of PC is a risk for this disease and the risk level changes in correlation with the number of affected relatives. Several hereditary syndromes with potential germline mutation also have a high risk for PC; however, little is yet known regarding the genes responsible for familial pancreatic cancer (FPC). Characteristics of FPC cases are similar to those of other familial tumors, including younger onset than in sporadic cases and an ethnic difference (Ashkenazi Jewish > other Caucasian). Other risks resemble those of sporadic cases and include smoking and diabetes mellitus. People with several genetic syndromes, including Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, hereditary pancreatitis, breast-ovarian cancer syndrome, hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, and familial adenomatous polyposis also have an increased risk of PC. In many countries, but not yet in Japan, screening of these high-risk individuals is now ongoing for the detection of early PC under established familial pancreatic cancer registries. In addition to the ordinary risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes, pancreatitis, cysts, duct ectasia, and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN), individuals with a family history of PC and hereditary syndromes are expected to be entered into the screening protocol.

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