Hereditary vs familial pancreatic cancer: Associated genetic syndromes and clinical perspective

Mehmet Sitki Copur, Geoffrey A. Talmon, Whitney Wedel, Johnathan D. Hart, Shaheed Merani, Luciano M. Vargas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a disease marked by high rates of mortality; it is mostly incurable at the time of diagnosis. Only about 7% of patients survive 5 years after diagnosis. Diagnosis at a late stage and rapid progression with minimal response to available treatments are the main reasons for this poor outcome. It is crucial to identify individuals at high risk of developing PDAC so preventive and early detection measures can be employed. Approximately 10% to 15% of PDAC cases have a hereditary or familial basis. In the majority of PDAC cases, no main causative gene has been identified, but several known germline pathogenic mutations have been shown to be related to an increased risk of this cancer. The presence of 2 or more patients with pancreatic cancer within the circle of first-degree relatives, without the presence of a causative germline mutation, is defined as familial pancreatic cancer; this accounts for 4% to 10% of PDAC. Based on the growing evidence supporting the benefit of germline genetic testing in patients with PDAC, both the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network recently updated their guidelines to include recommendations around genetic testing for patients with pancreatic cancer. However, there is no general consensus on the group of patients and individuals who should be studied and screened. We present a demonstrative case and review the available data on hereditary and familial PDAC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-201
Number of pages6
JournalONCOLOGY (United States)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Familial
  • Hereditary
  • Mutation
  • Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  • Prevention
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Hereditary vs familial pancreatic cancer: Associated genetic syndromes and clinical perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this