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Chronic inflammation markers are associated with risk of pancreatic cancer in the Swedish AMORIS cohort study

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Sam Sollie, Dominique S Michaud, Debashis Sarker, Sophia N Karagiannis, Debra H Josephs, Niklas Hammar, Aida Santaolalla, Goran Walldius, Hans Garmo, Lars Holmberg, Ingmar Jungner, Mieke Van Hemelrijck

Original languageEnglish
Article number858
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Early online date29 Aug 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Aug 2019

King's Authors


BACKGROUND: Nested case-control studies examining the association between serum markers of chronic inflammation, focused on three specific biomarkers (CRP, IL-8 and TNF-α), and risk of pancreatic cancer have reported no associations. In this study, we evaluated associations between standard pre-diagnostic serum markers of chronic inflammation (CRP, albumin, haptoglobin and leukocytes) and pancreatic cancer risk in the Swedish Apolipoprotein-related MORtality RISk (AMORIS) prospective cohort study.

METHODS: We selected all participants (≥20 years old) with baseline measurements of CRP, albumin, haptoglobin and leukocytes between 1985 and 1996 (n = 61,597). Participants were excluded if they had a history of chronic pancreatitis and all individuals were free from pancreatic cancer at baseline. Cox proportional multivariable hazards regression analysis was carried out for medical cut-offs of CRP, albumin, haptoglobin and leukocytes.

RESULTS: We observed an increased risk of pancreatic cancer for those individuals with higher levels of serum haptoglobin (≥1.4 g/L), CRP (≥10 mg/L) and leukocytes (≥10 × 109 cells/L) compared to those with haptoglobin levels < 1.4 g/L, CRP levels < 10 mg/L and Leukocyte levels < 10 × 109 cells/L [haptoglobin HR: 2.23 (95% CI 1.72-2.88), CRP HR: 1.32 (95% CI 1.00-1.74), leukocytes HR: 2.20 (95% CI 1.52-3.18)]. No associations were noted for serum albumin.

CONCLUSIONS: We found an increased risk of pancreatic cancer associated with pre-diagnostic serum levels of haptoglobin, CRP and leukocytes. Our finding suggests a possible role of chronic inflammation in the aetiology of pancreatic cancer and highlight the need to further investigate this association.

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