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Approved research

Prospective study of epidemiologic and genetic risk factors for pancreatic cancer

Principal Investigator: Dr Rachael Stolzenberg-Solomon
Approved Research ID: 54182
Approval date: April 9th 2020

Lay summary

We propose to examine prospective associations between genetic, lifestyle, diet, biomarker, and other health related exposures and risk of pancreatic cancer. We will primarily examine associations for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (the most common pancreatic cancer subtype) but also associations for other rarer pancreatic cancer subtypes if numbers permit. Some exposures will be pooled or meta-analyzed within consortia studies (e.g. genome-wide association study). Pancreatic cancer incidence rates have been increasing globally, particularly in developed countries and has few established risk factors beyond smoking, adiposity, and diabetes. Use of the UK biobank data will help elucidate new associations and risk factors for pancreatic cancer. Prospective analyses of incident pancreatic cancer within the UK biobank are less likely to suffer from reverse causation and selection, survival, recall and surrogate reporting biases. UK Biobank's rich phenotype data offers the opportunity to examine exposures and pancreatic cancer risk that have not been investigated previously. Pooling some of the UK Biobank data with other studies in consortia will allow for better power to observe associations that may be missed in smaller studies. We anticipate that our analyses will be completed within 3 years. Findings from this research may: 1) identify risk factors particularly those that are modifiable or can be used for prevention, 2) better understand the etiology of disease, 3) interrogate potential mechanism(s) that underlie associations.