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To examine the profiles of K-ras mutations and p16 and preproenkephalin (ppENK) promoter hypermethylation and their associations with cigarette smoking in pancreatic cancer patients.In plasma DNA of 83 patients with untreated primary pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, DNA hypermethylation was determined by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction and K-ras codon 12 mutations by enriched-nested polymerase chain reaction followed by direct sequencing. Information on smoking exposure was collected by in-person interview. Pearson χ2 test and Fisher exact test were used in statistical analysis.K-ras mutations, ppENK, and p16 promoter hypermethylation were detected in 32.5%, 29.3%, and 24.6% of the patients, respectively. Sixty-three percent (52/83) of patients exhibited at least one of the alterations. Smoking was associated with the presence of K-ras mutations (P = 0.003). A codon 12 G-to-A mutation was predominantly observed in regular smokers and in heavy smokers (pack-year of smoking ≥36). Smoking was not associated with p16 or ppENK hypermethylation.These preliminary observations suggest that plasma DNA might be a useful surrogate in detecting genetic and epigenetic alterations of pancreatic cancer. The findings on the association between K-ras mutation and smoking were in consistency with previous studies. Further studies on environmental modulators of epigenetic changes in pancreatic cancer are warranted.