BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are important in the repair and upkeep of DNA. Mutations in these genes confer a strong tendency to not only more widely known breast cancer, but to other kinds of cancers as well – including contributing to some amount of pancreatic cancer (ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas).
Now, researchers from the Women’s College Research Institute, Familial Breast Cancer Research in Toronto, Canada have published a study in the British Journal of Cancer which has attempted to quantify this increased risk in pancreatic cancer.
Huzarski and colleagues followed women with either an identified BRCA1 or a BRCA2 mutation, and reviewed pedigrees. They found that the risk of either mutation increased the risk of acquiring pancreatic cancer to about double of that of the risk of the general population.
Dale O’Brien, MD