It’s thought that about 30-40% of cases of pancreatic cancer (ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas) may be attributable to smoking tobacco. Now comes more research about additional possible bad effects of smoking.
Brand and colleagues from the University of Michigan recently published a study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology that showed that alcohol and tobacco use ~ in a dose related manner (more: makes it worse) ~ are each associated with an earlier age of the onset of pancreatic cancer. This unfortunate effect appears to go away after about ten years of abstinence.
In a separate recent study in the European Journal of Cancer, Schuller and his colleagues at the University of Tennessee vet school found (in cells and in live mice) that tobacco smoke AND nicotine replacement therapy reduce the treatment effect of gemcitabine (one of the mainstays of chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer). They suggest clinical studies in patients to further explore these research findings.
Dale O’Brien, MD