Risk factors for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors a clinic-based case-control study

Thorvardur R. Halfdanarson, William R. Bamlet, Robert R. McWilliams, Timothy J. Hobday, Patrick A. Burch, Kari G. Rabe, Gloria M. Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objectives: Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) are uncommon, and little is known about their risk factors and association with other cancers. We evaluated whether the following risk factors known to be associated with pancreatic adenocarcinoma are also associated with PNETs: smoking, alcohol use, family history of PNET, and other cancers, and personal history of diabetes as potential risk factors.

Methods: Patients with PNETs seen at Mayo Clinic Rochester between 2000 and 2011 were compared with controls seen for a general medical evaluation. Patients and controls completed the same questionnaires. After excluding insulinoma and high-grade PNETs, 355 cases were evaluated, and 309 were matched to 602 controls (2:1) on age, sex, and region of residence.

Results: Personal smoking history was not associated with PNETs. Alcohol use was less common among cases (54% vs 67%, P < 0.001). Cases were more likely to report a family member with sarcoma (P = 0.02), PNET (P = 0.02), gallbladder cancer (P = 0.02), ovarian cancer (P = 0.04), and gastric cancer (P = 0.01). There was no association with other cancers in family members. Diabetes was more commonly reported by cases than controls (19% vs 11%, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: With the exception of diabetes, risk factors that are associated with pancreatic adenocarcinoma are not risk factors for PNETs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1219-1222
Number of pages4
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 10 2014


  • Carcinoid tumors
  • Islet cell tumors
  • Neuroendocrine tumors
  • Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Hepatology
  • Endocrinology


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