Familial Pancreatic Cancer

  • Kieran A. Brune
  • Alison P. Klein
Part of the M. D. Anderson Solid Tumor Oncology Series book series (MDA)

In 2008, 37,680 individuals in the United States will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (1) and approximately 5–10% of these cases will have a familial basis (2). Because of the location of the pancreas deep in the abdominal cavity, detection of this disease in its early stages is difficult such that over 80% of pancreatic cancers have metastasized prior to diagnosis. For this reason, it is estimated that in 2008, 34,290 individuals in the United States will die from the disease this year, making the death rate from pancreatic cancer similar to its incidence. Therefore, it is important to identify individuals who are at high risk, such as those with a family history, as these patients may benefit from early detection screening, which may reduce the mortality of this disease. Furthermore, understanding the genetic basis of both inherited and noninherited pancreatic cancer will provide great insight into the etiology of this cancer.

Little is known about the etiology of pancreatic cancer, but the two best established risk factors for the development of this cancer include cigarette smoking and a family history of pancreatic cancer. The following chapter provides a brief overview of the general epidemiology of pancreatic cancer and then focuses on the role of familial risk in the development of this disease.


Pancreatic Cancer Pancreatic Cancer Risk Creatic Cancer Hereditary Pancreatitis Familial Pancreatic Cancer 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kieran A. Brune
    • 1
  • Alison P. Klein
    • 2
  1. 1.The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center and the John Hopkins Medical InstitutionsBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer CenterJohn Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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