Abstract Aims The aim of the article is to perform a focused review of adjuvant chemotherapy with or without radiotherapy for the treatment of resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC). Methods We performed a Medline database search from 1965 to 2010 using the terms “adjuvant,” “trial” and “pancreatic cancer”. Results Adding adjuvant chemotherapy to patients with resectable PAC was associated with significantly increased median overall survival (OS) (odds ratio[OR]: 1.98, p < 0.001), disease-free survival (DFS) (OR: 2.12, p < 0.001), two-year survival (OR: 1.38, p = 0.04) and five-year survival (OR: 2.16, p = 0.007) compared to surgery alone. There was no statistically significant difference observed with regard to OS (OR:0.99, p = 0.93), DFS (OR:0.99, p = 0.95), and two-year survival (OR: 0.90, p = 0.57) between adjuvant chemoradiotherapy and surgery alone. The further analysis showed that single agent gemcitabine was as active as combined chemotherapy or chemoradiation, which was reflected by an OR of 1.13 (p = 0.26) for OS and1.08 (p = 0.47) for DFS. Conclusions A significant benefit with regard to DFS and median OS for adjuvant chemotherapy after PAC resection was demonstrated by this analysis. These results do not support the use of adjuvant radiotherapy for PAC.