A genotype of LIG3 G39A is linked to reduced risk, while the gene ATM D1853N is associated with increased risk, according to study in Clinical Cancer Research.

Genetic variations in DNA repair patterns may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by as much as threefold or decrease it by as much as 77 % depending on the genes involved, according to scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The investigators established that the presence of a homozygous mutant genotype of LIG3 G-39A is associated with a 77 % reduction in the risk of pancreatic cancer. The presence of the gene ATM D1853N, however, is associated with a 255% increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

In this study the researchers analyzed nine SNPs of seven DNA repair genes among 734 patients with pancreatic cancer and 780 people without cancer to obtain the results. “Our study provides some preliminary data on one pattern of genetic variations that may be useful in determining risk,” according to Donghui Li, Ph.D., a professor in the department of gastrointestinal medical oncology.

“However, we still need to be cautious. As with any science, the key is replication, and the results of this study need to be confirmed by others.”

The report is published in the January 15 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

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