Association of family history of specific cancers with a younger age of onset of pancreatic adenocarcinoma

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Sep;4(9):1143-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2006.05.029. Epub 2006 Jul 24.


Background & aims: Pancreatic adenocarcinoma has been associated with several familial cancer syndromes that also predispose to other malignancies. Younger ages of onset of pancreatic cancer (PC) have been reported in families with these syndromes.

Methods: Six hundred twenty-four consecutive patients (probands) from the Mayo Clinic Pancreatic Cancer Patient Registry who completed questionnaires were analyzed for family history of cancer and cigarette smoking. The ages at diagnosis of those probands who reported a family history (first- or second-degree relative) of PC, breast, ovarian, colorectal cancer, or melanoma were compared with those probands who did not. Multivariable regression analyses were performed with age at diagnosis as the primary outcome variable.

Results: As expected, smokers had a younger median age of onset of PC than nonsmokers in dose-dependent fashion (P = .0003). After controlling for tobacco exposure and gender, those probands with a family history of breast (-3.23 years, P = .001), ovarian (-5.63 years, P = .005), colorectal (-3.19 years, P = .002) cancers, and melanoma (-5.75 years, P = .017) had a younger age of onset of PC than those who did not. Those with a family history of PC (-.61 years, P = .65) exhibited no difference. Probands reporting other cancers in relatives showed no difference (+.78 years, P = .49) in age of onset of PC.

Conclusion: A family history of cancers (breast, ovarian, colorectal, melanoma) associated with specific cancer syndromes that are known to contribute also to PC risk is associated with a younger onset of PC. A family history of PC does not appear to affect age of onset of PC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis
  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics*
  • Age of Onset*
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Smoking / epidemiology