The many types of pancreatic cancer can be divided into two general groups. The vast majority of cases (about 95%) occur in the part of the pancreas which produces digestive enzymes, known as the exocrine component. The exocrine group is dominated by pancreatic adenocarcinoma (variations of this name may add "invasive" and "ductal", for example, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC)), which is by far the most common type, representing about 85% of all pancreatic cancers.Wikipedia
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States; the estimated incidence rate of developing PDAC is 1.5%, with >50,000 new cases and 43,000+ annual deaths (as of 2017).
Germline mutations in the following genes have been associated higher pancreatic cancer susceptibility: BRCA1, BRCA2, ATM, PALB2, and CDKN2A (familial atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome), mismatch repair genes MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2 (Lynch syndrome), STK11 (Peutz-Jeghers syndrome), and PRSS1 (hereditary pancreatitis).
Studies published in 2017 and 2018 of 854 and 3,030 patients with pancreatic cancer concluded that the 7 main genes found to harbor germline mutations increasing risk were CDKN2A, TP53, MLH1, BRCA2, ATM, BRCA1, and PALB2.[PMID 29922827],[PMID 28767289]
A 2018 study of 354 high-risk individuals (based on family history and/or germline mutations) who underwent increased surveillance for over 15 years concluded that such surveillance did lead to a significantly lower mortality rate. This is in agreement with an expert consortium that suggests screening and surveillance (perhaps starting at age 50 or 55) for asymptomatic high-risk individuals with an estimated lifetime risk of pancreatic cancer >5% is warranted.[PMID 29803839]
[PMID 25086665] Genome-wide association study identifies multiple susceptibility loci for pancreatic cancer.