This study aimed to investigate the clinical significance of expression and amplification of decoy receptor 3 (DcR3) in pancreatic carcinomas (PC). mRNA expression was detected by PQ-PCR, and amplification was determined. DcR3 protein expression was detected by immunohistochemistry and ELISA. Correlations between DcR3 expression and clinical pathological factors were analyzed. The relative amount of DcR3 in PC tissues and non-cancerous tissues showed a statistically significant difference, 21 cases displaying more than two fold DcR3 amplification, while no such amplification was found in normal pancreatic tissues. DcR3 positive cell staining was located in the cytoplasm. The positive rate of DcR3 in PC and non-cancerous tissues showed a significant difference. DcR3 mRNA expression was correlated with clinical staging, size of the tumor, lymph node metastasis and histological staging, while protein expression was correlated with clinical data like tumor size. DcR3 gene amplification only correlated with tumor size. The level of DcR3 in serum of the PC resectable group before operation was 72.2±10.2 pg/ml, showing a significant difference compared to gallbladder carcinoma group (GC) or pancreatic benign tumor (PBT) group (P < 0.01). In conclusion, DcR3 amplification is correlated with DcR3 expression in PC tissues, especially those clinical pathological factors which reflect tumor progression. Assessment of DcR3 level in sera of PC patients may be helpful for the early diagnosis and prognostic judgement.