Familial association of pancreatic cancer with other malignancies in Swedish families

Br J Cancer. 2009 Nov 17;101(10):1792-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605363. Epub 2009 Oct 13.


Background: The aim of this study was to characterise the familial association of pancreatic cancer with other malignancies.

Methods: Relative risks (RRs) of pancreatic cancer according to family history of cancer were calculated using the updated Swedish Family-Cancer Database, which includes over 11.5 million individuals. Estimates were based on Poisson regression. RRs of tumours for individuals with a parental history of pancreatic cancer were also estimated.

Results: The risk of pancreatic cancer was elevated in individuals with a parental history of cancers of the liver (RR 1.41; 95% CI 1.10-1.81), kidney (RR 1.37; 95% CI 1.06-1.76), lung (RR 1.50; 95% CI 1.27-1.79) and larynx (RR 1.98; 95% CI 1.19-3.28). Associations were also found between parental history of pancreatic cancer and cancers of the small intestine, colon, breast, lung, testis and cervix in offspring. There was an increased risk of pancreatic cancer associated with early-onset breast cancer in siblings.

Conclusion: Pancreatic cancer aggregates in families with several types of cancer. Smoking may contribute to the familial aggregation of pancreatic and lung tumours, and the familial clustering of pancreatic and breast cancer could be partially explained by inherited mutations in the BRCA2 gene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology