Early detection of precancerous cysts or neoplasms, i.e., Intraductal Papillary Mucosal Neoplasms (IPMN), in pancreas is a challenging and complex task, and it may lead to a more favourable outcome. Once detected, grading IPMNs accurately is also necessary, since low-risk IPMNs can be under surveillance program, while high-risk IPMNs have to be surgically resected before they turn into cancer. Current standards (Fukuoka and others) for IPMN classification show significant intra- and inter-operator variability, beside being error-prone, making a proper diagnosis unreliable. The established progress in artificial intelligence, through the deep learning paradigm, may provide a key tool for an effective support to medical decision for pancreatic cancer. In this work, we follow this trend, by proposing a novel AI-based IPMN classifier that leverages the recent success of transformer networks in generalizing across a wide variety of tasks, including vision ones. We specifically show that our transformer-based model exploits pre-training better than standard convolutional neural networks, thus supporting the sought architectural universalism of transformers in vision, including the medical image domain and it allows for a better interpretation of the obtained results.