Genetic variants associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer have been identified in a new report, published online this week in Nature Genetics.
Each year there are approximately 200,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer worldwide, with mortality rates nearly equal to incidence rates. Less than 5% of individuals diagnosed with this type of cancer are still alive five years after diagnosis.
Stephen Chanock and colleagues conducted the largest genetic association study to date for pancreatic cancer, analyzing the genomes of nearly 4,000 cases. The authors found genetic variants at 3 loci on different chromosomes are associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer. The variant on one of these chromosomes is located near the CLPTM1L and TERT genes, both of which have previously been implicated in other forms of cancer, including brain tumors, lung cancer, and melanoma.