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Pancreatic Cancer Relatives May be at Risk of Syndrome-Related Cancers

For a paper appearing in JAMA Oncology, investigators at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Indiana School of Medicine, and elsewhere analyze cancer occurrence in first-degree family members of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients with pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants in at least one of nine cancer syndrome-related genes analyzed. Based on data for 234 PDAC cases and almost 1,700 parents, siblings, or children, the team saw higher-than-usual rates for six cancer types in these first-degree relatives. Along with a rise in PDAC rates in family members of patients with ATM, BRCA2, or CDKN2A, for example, the authors report a significant uptick in ovarian, breast, and melanoma risk in relatives of PDAC patients with BRCA1, BRCA2, or CDKN2A variants, respectively. Both colon cancers and uterine/endometrial cancers appeared more common in relatives of PDAC patients with Lynch syndrome-related risk variants in mismatch repair genes, on the other hand. "These findings suggest that risk estimation should be assessed for other cancers in families with a history of PDAC for screening, early detection, and intervention incorporating the genetic test results of patients with PDAC," they write. "Future studies including more genes with [pathogenic germline variants (PGV)] yet to be discovered and characterized, other modifiable risk factors such as smoking, and PGV testing of unaffected relatives will help improve the accuracy of cancer risk prediction for first-degree relatives of patients with PDAC."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.