We conducted a two-stage genome-wide association study of pancreatic cancer, a cancer with one of the lowest survival rates worldwide. We genotyped 558,542 SNPs in 1,896 individuals with pancreatic cancer and 1,939 controls drawn from 12 prospective cohorts plus one hospital-based case-control study. We conducted a combined analysis of these groups plus an additional 2,457 affected individuals and 2,654 controls from eight case-control studies, adjusting for study, sex, ancestry and five principal components. We identified an association between a locus on 9q34 and pancreatic cancer marked by the SNP rs505922 (combined P = 5.37 × 10−8; multiplicative per-allele odds ratio 1.20; 95% confidence interval 1.12–1.28). This SNP maps to the first intron of the ABO blood group gene. Our results are consistent with earlier epidemiologic evidence suggesting that people with blood group O may have a lower risk of pancreatic cancer than those with groups A or B.
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The authors gratefully acknowledge the energy and contribution of our late colleague, Robert Welch. Additional acknowledgments are found in the Supplementary Note.
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