Seventeen patients with carcinoma confined to the pancreas and the peripancreatic area received preoperative radiation therapy in an attempt to increase the resectability rate and to reduce the incidence of recurrence. The tumors were considered either unresectable or of borderline resectability. The radiation dose ranged between 4000--5000 rads, the majority of patients (75%) receiving 4400--4600 rads in 4 1/2--5 weeks. After a period averaging six weeks the patients were reevaluated for surgery. Eleven patients were explored and six underwent radical resection. Two patients remained disease free after five years. Pancreatic resection is feasible following a course of preoperative radiotherapy to a moderately high dose. It is suggested that the response of the primary tumor to radiotherapy be used as a criterion for selecting patients for reexploration and resection.