Eighty-five patients with adenocarcinoma of the pancreas were reviewed in order to evaluate the efficacy of our methods of diagnosis and treatment. The most useful diagnostic test was percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC) with a diagnostic rate of 96%. Pancreaticoduodenectomy (Whipple procedure) and total pancreatic resection were performed in 13 and 2 patients, respectively. The remaining 50 patients underwent various palliative drainage procedures. Twenty patients did not undergo operation for various reasons. The primary tumor was found in the head of the pancreas in 50 patients (59%), the body in 6 patients (7%), and in the tail in 8 patients (9%). Postoperative complications, including sepsis, bleeding, intra-abdominal abscesses, and anastomotic leaks, occurred in 37% of the patients. There were one operative and 9 postoperative deaths. The average survival for those patients undergoing surgical intervention was 6 months. There were no 5-year survivors.