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Molecular Epidemiology

  • Donghui Li
Part of the M. D. Anderson Solid Tumor Oncology Series book series (MDA)

Summary

The severity of the pancreatic cancer problem and the scarcity of information on its etiology call for more research effort. Epidemiological studies have found that the incidence and mortality of pancreatic cancer increased for several decades earlier in this century but have tended to level off in recent years. Rates increase with age and are higher in males than females and higher in blacks than whites. Both genetic and environmental factors may play significant roles in the etiology of pancreatic cancer. Exposure to carcinogens through cigarette smoking, diet, and occupational contact may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. This hypothesis is supported by the experimental evidence that (1) the pancreas has the capacity to activate carcinogens; (2) DNA adducts are detected in pancreas tissue; and (3) genotoxic compounds might be involved, as suggested by the mutation spectra in pancreatic tumors. We hope, with advances in molecular biology and new methods of molecular epidemiological approach, to develop the tools for identifying high-risk individuals in whom this deadly disease can be prevented. An understanding of the etiological and molecular events leading to the development of pancreatic carcinoma may provide a basis for the development of effective strategies for the prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of this disease.

Keywords

Pancreatic Cancer Chronic Pancreatitis Acute Pancreatitis Pancreatic Tissue Natl Cancer Inst 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • Donghui Li

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