Background: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) continues to be associated with a poor prognosis. This systematic review aimed to summarize the literature regarding potential prognostic biomarkers to facilitate validation studies and clinical application. Methods: A systematic review was performed (2004-2014) according to PRISMA guidelines. Studies were ranked using REMARK criteria and the following outcomes were examined: overall/disease free survival, nodal involvement, tumour characteristics, metastasis, recurrence and resectability. Results: 256 biomarkers were identified in 158 studies. 171 biomarkers were assessed with respect to overall survival: urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor, atypical protein kinase C and HSP27 ranked the highest. 33 biomarkers were assessed for disease free survival: CD24 and S100A4 were the highest ranking. 17 biomarkers were identified for lymph node involvement: Smad4/Dpc4 and FOXC1 ranked highest. 13 biomarkers were examined for tumour grade: mesothelin and EGFR were the highest ranking biomarkers. 10 biomarkers were identified for metastasis: p16 and sCD40L were the highest ranking. 4 biomarkers were assessed resectability: sCD40L, s100a2, Ca 19-9, CEA. Conclusion: This review has identified and ranked specific biomarkers that should be a primary focus of ongoing validation and clinical translational work in PDAC.