Although scattered case reports of familial clustering of pancreatic cancer have appeared in the literature, hereditary factors have not been clearly associated with increased risk for this malignancy. The current report documents the familial occurrence of pancreatic adenocarcinoma in three women of consecutive generations who died of their disease at progressively younger ages. The diagnoses are histologically confirmed in all three cases. Although two of the women carried a single known risk factor for pancreatic carcinoma (cigarette smoking), a familial predisposition to this disease is strongly implicated. The case suggests that the role of inheritance in pancreatic carcinoma may merit further exploration.