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DNA Marker Differences in Asians vs. Europeans with Pancreatic Cancer

Canzian and estimable European colleagues including Dr. John Neoptolemos of Liverpool University (and again our Professor Markus Buchler of the University of Heidelberg / Pancreatica Science Board)  in a February 2013 article in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention – a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research through their newly formed collaborative called the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch consortium or PANDoRA, looked at seven identified SNPs (DNA single-nucleotide polymorphisms) in primarily Caucasian Europeans with and without advanced pancreatic cancer(ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas).

These seven SNPs have been found in past studies to be associated with increased pancreatic cancer risk in two Asian populations.  With one exception that may be explained by chance due to relatively small population in the Polish sub-group, this study did not appear to demonstrate an association between these possible SNP markers and an increased risk of pancreatic cancer for those of European ancestry.

This published research serves to demonstrate the complexity and difficulty encountered with developing molecular and genetic screening markers for pancreatic cancer across racial and ethnicity backgrounds.

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Dale O’Brien, MD