Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most deadly cancers worldwide. Although many regimens have been used for PDAC treatment, the combination of the EGF receptor (EGFR) inhibitor erlotinib with gemcitabine has been the only molecular-targeted drug tested so far that has been superior to gemcitabine alone. The mechanism underlying this effective combinational regimen remains unknown. Here, we show that the combination is superior to gemcitabine alone in blocking progression and prolonging survival in a murine model of PDAC (Kras activation with Tgfbr2 knockout). We found that gemcitabine induced mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling, which was dramatically inhibited by erlotinib even in the Kras-activated PDAC cells in the mouse model. Mechanistic investigations suggested that gemcitabine induces EGFR ligand expression and ERBB2 activation by increasing heterodimer formation with EGFR, thereby maintaining high levels of ERBB2 protein in PDAC cells. Overall, our findings suggest a significant role of ERBB in PDAC treatment.