Serum Immunoglobulin G Is Associated With Decreased Risk of Pancreatic Cancer in the Swedish AMORIS Study

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: Emerging evidence points to potential roles of the humoral immune responses in the development of pancreatic cancer. Epidemiological studies have suggested involvement of viral and bacterial infections in pancreatic carcinogenesis. Experimental studies have reported high expression levels of antigens in pancreatic cancer cells. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the role of different components of humoral immunity in the context of pancreatic cancer. We evaluated associations between pre-diagnostic serum markers of the overall humoral immune system [immunoglobulin A (IgA), immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin M (IgM)], and the risk of pancreatic cancer in the Swedish Apolipoprotein-related MORtality RISk (AMORIS) study. Methods: We selected all participants (≥20 years old) with baseline measurements of IgA, IgG or IgM (n = 41,900, 136,221, and 29,919, respectively). Participants were excluded if they had a history of chronic pancreatitis and individuals were free from pancreatic cancer at baseline. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate risk of pancreatic cancer for medical cut-offs of IgA, IgG, and IgM. Results: Compared to the reference level of 6.10–14.99 g/L, risk of pancreatic cancer was elevated among those with IgG levels <6.10 g/L [HR: 1.69 (95% CI 0.99–2.87)], and an inverse association was observed among those with IgG levels ≥15.00 g/L [0.82 (95% CI 0.64–1.05); Ptrend = 0.027]. The association appeared to be stronger for women than men [HR: 0.64 (95% CI 0.43–0.97) and 0.95 (95% CI 0.69–1.29), respectively]. No associations were observed with IgA or IgM. Conclusion: An inverse association was observed between pre-diagnostic serum levels of IgG and risk of pancreatic cancer. Our findings highlight the need to further investigate the role of immune response in pancreatic cancer etiology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number263
Pages (from-to)263
JournalFrontiers in oncology
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2020


  • IgA
  • IgG
  • IgM
  • immune system and cancer
  • pancreatic cancer
  • serum immunoglobulin


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