Genetic causes of hereditary pancreatic cancer: BRCA and beyond
An update on hereditary pancreatic cancer presented at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting covered genes and lifetime risk. The update emphasized that all pancreatic cancer patients should be offered genetic counseling and testing. Genetic test results may impact treatment, screening for other cancers and risk to family members. (11/26/19)
Genetic Counseling and Testing Guidelines:
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and The American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) recommend that all patients who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer be offered genetic counseling and testing.
Pancreatic cancer screening Guidelines:
While numerous studies in the past have found no benefit (or an unclear benefit) to screening the general population for pancreatic cancer, recent research indicates that it is beneficial to screen people at higher risk.
International Cancer of the Pancreas Screening Consortium guidelines
- International Cancer of the Pancreas Screening Consortium (ICPSC) recommends endoscopic ultrasound and/or MRI for anyone who has:
- an STK11 mutation.
- a BRCA1, BRCA2, MSH1, MSH2, MSH6 PMS2 or CDKN2A mutation and a first-degree relative with pancreatic cancer.
- a first-degree relative and one other relative with pancreatic cancer.
- The ICPSC has not reached a consensus on the age(s) when screening should begin.
American College of Gastroenterology guidelines:
- The American College of Gastroenterology agrees with the ICPSC guidelines and also suggests that people with a mutation in BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2, ATM, MSH1, MSH2, MSH6 or PMS2 and a first- or second-degree relative be offered screening.
- They recommend endoscopic ultrasound and MRI starting at age 50 or 10 years before the earliest diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in the family except for people with STK11 mutations, who should begin screening at age 35.
Questions To Ask Your Health Care Provider
- Should I have genetic testing for an inherited mutation?
- I had genetic testing in the past, should I have additional testing?
- Should I have pancreatic cancer screening?
- Will my insurance pay for pancreatic cancer screening?
Open Clinical Trials
Studies enrolling people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer
Studies enrolling people at high risk for pancreatic cancer
FORCE is a national nonprofit organization, established in 1999. Our mission is to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by adult hereditary cancers.