Pancreatic cancer

Through EPIC we are involved in the “PanScan” initiative, which has performed the first GWAS on pancreatic cancer, and is currently being expanded to additional samples of cases and controls. In parallel, we have set up the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) consortium, an international initiative to collect DNA samples of pancreatic cancer cases and controls, in order to perform additional studies on polymorphisms (we currently have samples of over 1200 cases and a similar number of controls). In particular, the availability of survival data for a subset of cases allows us to study whether SNPs involved in pancreatic cancer risk are relevant also as prognostic factors. For a group of cases, biological material from tumors is available and is being studied for characterization of gene and protein expression profiles (Division of Functional Genome Analysis), epigenetics (Division of Epigenomics and Cancer Risk Factors) and somatic mutations (Division of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology). This will allow us to study possible correlations between germline variation and somatic events. We are also collecting samples of cases of other pancreatic diseases, including chronic pancreatitis, which is one of the strongest risk factors for pancreatic cancer, and preneoplastic pancreatic lesions.

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