Familial pancreatic cancer: genetic advances

Genes Dev. 2014 Jan 1;28(1):1-7. doi: 10.1101/gad.228452.113.


Beset by poor prognosis, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is classified as familial or sporadic. This review elaborates on the known genetic syndromes that underlie familial pancreatic cancer, where there are opportunities for genetic counseling and testing as well as clinical monitoring of at-risk patients. Such subsets of familial pancreatic cancer involve germline cationic trypsinogen or PRSS1 mutations (hereditary pancreatitis), BRCA2 mutations (usually in association with hereditary breast-ovarian cancer syndrome), CDKN2 mutations (familial atypical mole and multiple melanoma), or DNA repair gene mutations (e.g., ATM and PALB2, apart from those in BRCA2). However, the vast majority of familial pancreatic cancer cases have yet to have their genetic underpinnings elucidated, waiting in part for the results of deep sequencing efforts.

Keywords: BRCA2; familial pancreatic cancer; genetic testing; hereditary pancreatitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma / etiology
  • Carcinoma / genetics*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / complications
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics
  • DNA Repair / genetics
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / complications
  • Melanoma / genetics
  • Melanoma, Cutaneous Malignant
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / complications
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / genetics
  • Skin Neoplasms
  • Syndrome

Supplementary concepts

  • Hereditary pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic carcinoma, familial