Scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute says that the markers were variations in the inherited DNA code at particular locations along chromosomes, and many of them signaled the increased risk of developing the highly lethal disease.

An analysis was done on DNA from 7,683 patients with pancreatic cancer and 14,397 control patients without this disease.

In addition, five new risk markers were discovered and a sixth that was of borderline statistical significance.

The risks linked to each SNP or marker were largely independent and additive, so that they may have utility in future attempts to identify individuals in the general population at higher risk for pancreatic cancer.

The average lifetime risk of pancreatic cancer is 1.5%. The study is published online by Nature Genetics.

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