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Curr Treat Options Gastroenterol. 2014 Sep;12(3):359-71. doi: 10.1007/s11938-014-0022-y.

Genetics and treatment options for recurrent acute and chronic pancreatitis.

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  • 1Department of Human Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, Crabtree Hall 130 De Soto Street, Pittsburgh, PA, 15261, USA,



Worldwide research efforts demonstrate a major role of gene-environment interactions for the risk, development, and progression of most pancreatic diseases, including recurrent acute and chronic pancreatitis. New findings of pancreas disease-associated risk variants have been reported in the CPA1, GGT1, CLDN2, MMP1, MTHFR, and other genes. These risk genes and their regulatory regions must be added to the known pathogenic variants in the PRSS1, SPINK1, CFTR, CTRC, CASR, UBR1, SBDS, CEL, and CTSB genes. This new knowledge promises to improve disease management and prevention through personalized medicine. At the same time, however, knowledge of an increasing number of pathogenic variants, and their complicated effects when present in combination, results in increasing difficulty in interpretation and development of recommendations. Direct-to-consumer marketing of genetic testing results also adds complexity to disease management paradigms, especially without interpretation and, in many cases, proven accuracy. While improvements in the ability to rapidly and accurately interpret complex genetic tests are clearly needed, some results, such as pathogenic CFTR variants, including a new class of bicarbonate-defective mutations, and PRSS1 variants have immediate implications that direct management. In addition, discovery of pancreatitis-associated genetic variants in patients with glucose intolerance may suggest underlying type 3c diabetes, which also has implications for treatment and disease management.

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