Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

AB0 blood group and prognosis in patients with pancreatic cancer

Nuh N Rahbari1*, Ulrich Bork1, Ulf Hinz1, Albrecht Leo2, Johanna Kirchberg1, Moritz Koch1, Markus W Büchler1 and Jürgen Weitz1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of General, Visceral and Transplant Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld, Heidelberg, 110 69120, Germany

2 Institute for Clinical Transfusion Medicine and Cell Therapy Heidelberg, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

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BMC Cancer 2012, 12:319  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-319

Published: 28 July 2012



Although blood group 0 is associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer, little is known about the role of AB0 blood group antigens in disease progression. We assessed the prognostic relevance of AB0 blood status in a large cohort of patients with resected pancreatic cancer.


A total of 627 patients, who underwent resection for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma between October 2001 and December 2008 were enrolled. The relationship between AB0 blood group status and outcome was analyzed using univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses.


In patients with pancreatic cancer the incidence of blood group 0 (31%) was lower compared to 13.044 patients without pancreatic cancer (38%) (p = 0.0005). There were no significant differences in clinicopathologic characteristics among patients with different AB0 blood groups. The 3-year and 5-year overall survival rates were 29% and 14%. On univariate analysis AB0 blood group status did not correlate with survival (p = 0.39). Multivariate analysis, however, revealed a favorable and independent impact of blood group 0 on survival (Hazard ratio 0.78; 95% confidence interval 0.62 – 0.99; p = 0.037).


AB0 blood group status is associated independently with the prognosis of patients with resected pancreatic cancer.