Sara Robinson

Molecular Epidemiology of Pancreatic Cancer in Egypt and Morocco

ABSTRACT: Pancreatic cancer has not been well studied, especially in developing countries. We studied the variations in genetic mutations in pancreatic adenocarcinoma between Moroccan and Egyptian populations. We examined the molecular pathology of 30 tumors from a large hospital in Casablanca, Morocco and compared the findings with 44 tumors from the Gharbiah Governante in Egypt. We evaluated K-ras mutations in codon12 and 13, and p53 mutations in exons 5-8. Overall, differences in the rates of k-ras mutations were not statistically significant; however p53 mutations were more common in Moroccan tumors than in Egyptian tumors (24.14 and 38.64% for k-ras respectively, 66.67 and 16.28% for p53 respectively). G→ T mutations were the most common type of mutation in the k-ras gene in Egyptian tumors, whereas Moroccan tumors were about 50/50 with G→ T and G→ A mutations. Logistic regression showed that p53 mutation in any exon, and p53 mutation in exon 5 were predicted by country of residence with those mutations being more common in Moroccan patients. Our study shows that differences exist within the Arab population in the molecular pathology of k-ras and p53 genes. Further studies are necessary to understand these differences, particularly looking at environmental differences.