Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the few cancers where prognosis has not improved over the past few decades. However, there have been several advances in our understanding of the disease leading to earlier detection and targeted therapeutic treatment. It is now understood that specific somatic and germline mutations lead to the development of the disease, and the risk factors associated with this are clearer. Further, several precursor lesions have been identified which, with early detection and surveillance, allows treatment before the development of carcinoma. PDAC can now be diagnosed with a high sensitivity and specificity following advances in radiology, and treatment can be commenced at an earlier stage of the disease. With continued research we are hopeful that the next decade will see an improved survival rate for all patients with pancreatic cancer.