Prevalence of Germline Pathogenic Variants in Cancer Predisposing Genes in Czech and Belgian Pancreatic Cancer Patients

G. Wieme, J. Kral, T. Rosseel, P. Zemankova, B. Parton, M. Vocka, M. Van Heetvelde, P. Kleiblova, B. Blaumeiser, J. Soukupova, J. van den Ende, P. Nehasil, S. Tejpar, M. Borecka, E.B.G. Garcia, M.J. Blok, M. Safarikova, M. Kalousova, K. Geboes, R. De PutterB. Poppe, K. De Leeneer, Z. Kleibl, M. Janatova*, K.B.M. Claes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Simple Summary We performed genetic analysis of 53 cancer predisposing genes in Belgian and Czech pancreatic cancer patients. In known pancreatic cancer predisposing genes, a high mutation detection ratio was observed in patients with multiple primary tumors and/or a family history of pancreatic or breast, ovarian or colon cancer or melanoma. BRCA1, BRCA2, and ATM were most frequently affected. Pathogenic variants in cancer predisposition genes for which the association with pancreatic cancer has not been firmly established, were less frequent, except for CHEK2. This observation warrants further analyses in other populations. To accurately determine risk associations our study highlights the importance of using a geographically-matched control population. (1) Background: The proportion and spectrum of germline pathogenic variants (PV) associated with an increased risk for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) varies among populations. (2) Methods: We analyzed 72 Belgian and 226 Czech PDAC patients by multigene panel testing. The prevalence of pathogenic variants (PV) in relation to personal/family cancer history were evaluated. PDAC risks were calculated using both gnomAD-NFE and population-matched controls. (3) Results: In 35/298 (11.7%) patients a PV in an established PDAC-predisposition gene was found. BRCA1/2 PV conferred a high risk in both populations, ATM and Lynch genes only in the Belgian subgroup. PV in other known PDAC-predisposition genes were rarer. Interestingly, a high frequency of CHEK2 PV was observed in both patient populations. PV in PDAC-predisposition genes were more frequent in patients with (i) multiple primary cancers (12/38; 32%), (ii) relatives with PDAC (15/56; 27%), (iii) relatives with breast/ovarian/colorectal cancer or melanoma (15/86; 17%) but more rare in sporadic PDAC (5/149; 3.4%). PV in homologous recombination genes were associated with improved overall survival (HR = 0.51; 95% CI 0.34-0.77). (4) Conclusions: Our analysis emphasizes the value of multigene panel testing in PDAC patients, especially in individuals with a positive family cancer history, and underlines the importance of population-matched controls for risk assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4430
Number of pages15
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  • overall survival
  • multigene panel testing
  • family history
  • germline
  • BRCA1
  • RISK


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