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Pancreatic cancer (PC) is estimated to become the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States by 2020. Early detection is the key to improving survival in PC. Addressing this urgent need, the Kenner Family Research Fund conducted the inaugural Early Detection of Sporadic Pancreatic Cancer Summit Conference in 2014 in conjunction with the 45th Anniversary Meeting of the American Pancreatic Association and Japan Pancreas Society. This seminal convening of international representatives from science, practice, and clinical research was designed to facilitate challenging interdisciplinary conversations to generate innovative ideas leading to the creation of a defined collaborative strategic pathway for the future of the field. An in-depth summary of current efforts in the field, analysis of gaps in specific areas of expertise, and challenges that exist in early detection is presented within distinct areas of inquiry: Case for Early Detection: Definitions, Detection, Survival, and Challenges; Biomarkers for Early Detection; Imaging; and Collaborative Studies. In addition, an overview of efforts in familial PC is presented in an addendum to this article. It is clear from the summit deliberations that only strategically designed collaboration among investigators, institutions, and funders will lead to significant progress in early detection of sporadic PC.