Risk of Pancreatic Cancer Among Individuals With Pathogenic Variants in the ATM Gene
Fang-Chi Hsu, Nicholas J Roberts, Erica Childs, Nancy Porter, Kari G Rabe, Ayelet Borgida, Chinedu Ukaegbu, Michael G Goggins, Ralph H Hruban, George Zogopoulos, Sapna Syngal, Steven Gallinger, Gloria M Petersen, Alison P Klein
JAMA Oncol . 2021 Sep 16;e213701. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.3701. Online ahead of print.
Importance: Pathogenic germline variants in the ATM gene have been associated with pancreatic cancer risk. Although genetic testing identifies these variants in approximately 1% to 3% of unselected patients with pancreatic cancer, the lifetime risk of pancreatic cancer among individuals with pathogenic ATM variants has not been well estimated.
Objective: To estimate age-specific penetrance of pancreatic cancer in individuals with a pathogenic variant in the ATM gene.
Design, setting, and participants: This was a multicenter cohort study of pancreatic cancer family registries in the US and Canada using pedigree data from 130 pancreatic cancer kindreds with a pathogenic germline ATM variant. Data analyses were performed from January 2020 to February 2021.
Main outcomes and measures: Observational age-specific risk of pancreatic cancer. Penetrance was estimated using modified segregation analysis.
Results: The study population of 130 families (123 [95%] White families) comprised 2227 family members (mean age [SD], 58  years; 1096 [49%] women) with complete records (ie, including familial relationships, pancreatic cancer diagnosis, ATM status, proband status, and age), of which 155 individuals had positive results for an ATM pathogenic variant, 16 had a negative result, and the remainder did not have a test result. In these 130 families, 217 individuals had pancreatic cancer: 78 families had 1 such member; 34 families had 2 such members; and 18 families had 3 or more members with pancreatic cancer. The average (range) age at diagnosis was 64 (31-98) years. The cumulative risk of pancreatic cancer among individuals with a germline pathogenic ATM variant was estimated to be 1.1% (95% CI, 0.8%-1.3%) by age 50 years; 6.3% (95% CI, 3.9%-8.7%) by age 70 years; and 9.5% (95% CI, 5.0%-14.0%) by age 80 years. Overall, the relative risk of pancreatic cancer was 6.5 (95% CI, 4.5-9.5) in ATM variant carriers compared with noncarriers.
Conclusions and relevance: This multicenter cohort study found that individuals with a germline pathogenic ATM variant were at an increased lifetime risk of pancreatic cancer. These risk estimates can help guide decision-making when evaluating the risks and benefits of enhanced early detection surveillance.
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