There is overwhelming consensus that quality of life assessment is urgently required in pancreatic cancer, yet little research has been conducted. We report on the development of a disease specific questionnaire module to supplement the EORTC core cancer module, the QLQ-C30 in patients with pancreatic cancer, using EORTC quality of life study group guidelines for module development. Relevant QoL issues were generated from literature searches and interviews with health professionals and patients with pancreatic cancer. Issues were constructed into items and provisionally translated. The provisional module was pretested in patients in 8 European centres. The resulting module the QLQ-PAN26 includes 26 items related to disease symptoms, treatment side-effects and emotional issues specific to pancreatic cancer. This should ensure that the module will be sensitive to assess the small but important disease and treatment related QoL changes in pancreatic cancer. The use of the QLQ-C30 and QLQ-PAN26 will provide a comprehensive system of QoL assessment in international trials of pancreatic cancer.