Seventy-two cases of pancreatic cancer were examined by brushing cytology combined with endoscopic retrograde pancreatography. The results of this combined method were better than those reported for the exfoliative cytologic study of pancreatic fluid. The method detected a minute cancer of the main pancreatic duct that was not detected with any other method. The cells obtained by this technique had very well-preserved cytoplasm and nuclear chromatin, which facilitated making a correct diagnosis. Though this method can be applied only to the main pancreatic duct, it is effective for the diagnosis of ductal cell carcinoma, especially those located at the head of the pancreas, which is the most common site for pancreatic cancer. It is a safe procedure, with no complications seen in this series. The differentiation of carcinoma cells from the benign atypical cells of chronic pancreatitis is illustrated and emphasized.