Thinking about cancer or dealing with cancer risk can be scary or overwhelming, but we believe that receiving information and resources is comforting, empowering, and lifesaving.
About 10% of pancreatic cancer is caused by an inherited mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2. Other genetic mutations have been linked to increased risk of pancreatic cancer. These include:
Research is ongoing about the link between other genes and pancreatic cancer. These include:
Knowing if you have an inherited mutation is increasingly important for pancreatic cancer patients when making treatment decisions. For example, BRCA-associated cancers may respond better to certain treatments, including a treatment regimen that includes a type of chemotherapy known as platinum. Oxaliplatin is a platinum-containing drug used in some pancreatic cancer regimens.
Knowing whether or not you have a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 can affect the decision to use oxaliplatin or other platinum drug in the initial chemotherapy regimen to treat your pancreatic cancer. People who carry a Lynch syndrome mutation are more likely to have a tumor biomarker called MSI-High. These tumors tend to respond well to the immunotherapy agent pembrolizumab (Keytruda).