Background. ABO blood type antigens are expressed not only on human red blood cells, but also throughout the gastrointestinal tract and in normal pancreatic tissue. Previous studies have identified an association between ABO blood type and various malignancies. We analyzed the association of ABO blood type with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) in a high-risk cohort of patients with Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome. Methods. A retrospective review was performed of 798 patients with VHL syndrome. Blood type was confirmed for 181 patients. Fisher's exact test and Mehta's modification to Fisher's exact test were used to test for an association between ABO blood type and manifestations of VHL syndrome. Results. We found a strong trend for association between O blood type and pancreatic disease manifestation in patients with VHL syndrome (P = 0.047). More importantly, there was a significant association of O blood type with solid pancreatic lesions consistent with PNETs (P = 0.0084). Patients with solid pancreatic lesions who met criteria for surgical resection at the National Institutes of Health also had a higher rate of O blood type than those who did not require surgery (P = 0.051). Conclusions. Our findings suggest an association between O blood type and pancreatic manifestation of disease in patients with VHL syndrome, especially for PNETs. Screening and surveillance approaches for pancreatic lesions in patients with VHL syndrome should also consider patient blood type. The possibility of A, B, H misexpression in PNETs should also be explored to determine whether the serologic association with disease translates into a relationship with tissue pathology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas