Pancreatic cancer is associated with poor survival and quality of life. In Romania the prognostic influence of known risk factors for pancreatic adenocarcinoma, such as age, smoking, chronic pancreatitis, diabetes mellitus, and obesity is little known. Their importance in developing cancer in families with a history of adenocarcinoma is less studied. This study aims to assess the risk factors in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, in familial pancreatic adenocarcinoma, in neuroendocrine tumors and to evaluate their predictive role on survival.
We performed a prospective bicentric study of patients with pancreatic tumors detected in transabdominal imaging; we assessed the risk factors and their possible association with survival.
312 pancreatic cancer patients (279 with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and 24 patients with neuroendocrine tumors, and nine patients with other malignant types) and 312 controls were included. The median body mass index was significantly higher in patients with neuroendocrine tumors. Positive family history for pancreatic cancer was found in 4% of patients with pancreatic cancer. The risk for familial pancreatic carcinoma was associated with the presence of new-onset diabetes (OR: 4.64, p=0.018). The multivariate logistic analysis suggested that advanced age (OR: 1.67), smoking (OR: 1.67), low body mass index (OR: 12.07), and diabetes (OR: 3.91) were risk factors for pancreatic cancer. The overall survival analysis after adjustment for age and tumor stage showed only advanced tumoral stage (HR=1.6, p=0.003) and metastasis as independent predicting factors (HR=1.67, p<0.001).
Our study suggests that diabetes, smoking, underweight, and age over 60 years are risk factors for pancreatic cancer. Patients with a family history of pancreatic cancer, especially those with new-onset diabetes, should be followed carefully and considered for screening. Only an advanced tumor stage was associated with poor overall survival for patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.