Published online Nov 21, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i43.4846
Peer-review started: September 25, 2018
First decision: October 14, 2018
Revised: October 19, 2018
Accepted: October 27, 2018
Article in press: October 27, 2018
Published online: November 21, 2018
Core tip: The incidence of pancreatic adenocarcinoma is rising in the developed world and modifiable lifestyle factors such as alcohol and obesity may play an important role in this. The five-year survival from this disease is as low as 2% in some countries, despite improvement in surgical technique, chemotherapy regimens and the introduction of neo-adjuvant chemoradiotherapy. The poor outcomes are largely due to the late presentation of the disease and therefore the detection of early tumours or premalignant conditions is essential for treatment to be initiated early. The optimum screening test is however yet to be identified. Given the poor outcomes and current gaps in knowledge surrounding this malignant process, further research is essential to understand this disease better, enable early diagnosis and improve survival.