Published online Aug 21, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i31.10778
Revised: February 8, 2014
Accepted: March 19, 2014
Published online: August 21, 2014
Core tip: Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is the most deadly of the common cancers. Identifying families with hereditary pancreatic cancer can aid appropriate selection of individuals who are at high risk and are good candidates for prevention and screening programs. Although genetic predisposition to pancreatic cancer remains largely unexplained, next-generation sequencing is likely to provide important insights. Candidate genes have been described and patients considered for screening protocols should first be tested for germline mutations in these genes. In specific pancreatic cancer populations, including Italy, hereditary cancer predisposition genes such as CDKN2A also explain a considerable fraction of hereditary pancreatic cancers.