The incidence of pancreatic cancer has been increasing steadily in the United States and other industrialized nations. Its obscure etiology and difficult early diagnosis tend to hobble effective control programs. Innovative methods, such as biomarkers, might provide clues to its inevitable occurrence in high-risk individuals. We studied a family in which four individuals manifested pancreatic cancer verified through two generations. Cell cultures from split-thickness skin biopsy specimens were obtained for 24 members from three generations (17 bloodline relatives, seven family members by marriage) as well as ten nonfamily normal subjects, none with a family history of solid tumors. One of the constant features of human monolayer dermal cultures has been diploidy. Hyperdiploidy, other than tetraploidy, has been rarely observed in cultures from normal subjects without a family history of solid tumors. We observed increased in vitro hyperdiploidy in eight of 17 family members studied.
Danes BS, Lynch HT. A Familial Aggregation of Pancreatic Cancer: An In Vitro Study. JAMA. 1982;247(20):2798–2802. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320450032028
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