Pancreatic Cancer Risk Among People Newly Diagnosed with Diabetes

August 6, 2018
Lisa Schulmeister, MN, RN, FAAN

Significant weight loss, increased blood glucose levels, and older age at onset of diabetes may be useful in determining the risk of pancreatic cancer in people newly diagnosed with diabetes.

Lisa Schulmeister, MN, RN, FAAN

A group of US researchers led by Ayush Sharma, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, developed and validated a model to determine the risk of pancreatic cancer in people newly diagnosed with diabetes. They analyzed data from four cohorts of people diagnosed with diabetes from 2000-2015 (n = 1,561). The newly created predictive model, which they named Enriching New-onset Diabetes for Pancreatic Cancer (END-PAC), weighed scores for the 3 factors most strongly associated with pancreatic cancer-change in weight, change in blood glucose level, and age at onset of diabetes.

An END-PAC score of 0 (in 49% of patients) correlated with an extremely low risk for pancreatic cancer. An END-PAC score >3 correlated with an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer within 3 years.

The researchers concluded that significant weight loss, increased blood glucose levels, and older age at onset of diabetes may be useful in determining the risk of pancreatic cancer in people newly diagnosed with diabetes; however, further research is needed.