The risk of pancreatic cancer in patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP) is difficult to assess.
Previous studies have been mostly case control studies or studies relying on data case registers. They have reported relative risks varying between 2.3 and 18.5.
In this study, published in the December issue of Gut, researchers studied a prospective, single center, medical-surgical cohort of 373 consecutive patients.
Patients had a median age of 40 years and 86% were men.
They had proven CP (alcoholic origin 85%) and a follow up of at least two years (median follow up 9 years) in order to exclude pancreatitis revealing pancreatic cancer.
|Cases of pancreatic cancer:|
- Observed = 4
- Expected = 0.15
The research team calculated the age and sex standardized incidence ratio (SIR), as the ratio of the number of observed cases of pancreatic cancer, to the number of expected cases, as provided by the French National Cancer Register.
The team observed 4 cases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma in 3437 patient years, while the expected number of cases was 0.15.
In a second analysis, in which patients lost to follow up were considered to be followed up until the end point without having developed pancreatic adenocarcinoma (4762 patient years), SIR was 19.
Dr Malka's team concluded, "Patients with CP have a markedly increased risk of pancreatic cancer compared with the general population".