Authenticated Pancreatic Cancer Cell Lines for Cancer Research

In developed countries, pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality due to cancer. A 2012 GLOBOCAN estimate attributed 331,000 deaths annually to pancreatic cancer. Subclinical symptoms in the early stages of disease often leads to delayed diagnosis and a poor prognosis, with an estimated 5-year survival rate of less than 5%. If outcomes are not improved, pancreatic cancer is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related death in next decade.

Types of pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer may originate from either the exocrine or endocrine compartment of the pancreas. The table below delineates differences between exocrine and endocrine tumors, and will aid in the selection of the appropriate cell line for your research.


Exocrine tumors Endocrine tumors
  • Most common type of pancreatic cancer
  • Subcategorized into ductal adenocarcinoma and acinar adenocarcinoma, which begin in ducts and acini respectively. 
  • Other cancer types, which are less frequent, include acinar cell carcinoma, adenosquamous carcinoma, giant cell tumor, and pancreatoblastoma.
  • Account for just 1% of pancreatic cancers
  • Commonly referred to as pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs)
  • Categorized into subtypes based on the hormonal products of cells of origin: insulinoma, glucagonoma, gastrinoma, somatostatinoma, ppomas (pancreatic polypeptide), and vipomas (vasoactive intestinal peptide)
Cell lines:
PANC-1, PSN1, AR42J, HaP-T1, HUP-T3, HUP-T4, TGP49, DSL6A/C1, AsPC-1, CFPAC-1
Cell lines:
CRI-G5, CRI-D11, CRI-D2, TGP52, TGP54, TGP55, RIN-M, RIN-5F

Risk factors

Age is the major risk factor for pancreatic cancer; patients above 50 years of age are at higher risk. Lifestyle factors include smoking, obesity, low physical activity.  Diabetes mellitus can be both a risk factor and a consequence of early-stage pancreatic cancer.


Approximately 10% of pancreatic cancer patients have a family history of cancer; individuals with mutations in KRAS, TP53, GNAS, SMAD4, CDKN2A, RNF43, ARID1A, and KMT2C may be at higher risk.

Choose cell lines from the table below based on mutation, and click genes to find relevant products (antibodies, shRNA, siRNA, primers, CRISPR plasmids) for your research study.


Mutated gene Cell line
KRAS PANC-1, HuP-T3, MIA PaCa-2, AsPC-1, BxPC-3, CFPAC-1, HuP-T4,  PSN-1  
TP53 PANC-1, HuP-T3, MIA PaCa-2, AsPC-1, BxPC-3, CFPAC-1, HuP-T4,  PSN-1  
RNF43 AsPC-1, BxPC-3

Table 1: Pancreatic cancer cell lines with specific somatic mutations


Small molecules/monoclonal antibodies

Small molecule compounds and antibodies can be used to target cancer cells and block tumor growth and progression.  There are small molecule compounds that can target pancreatic cancer based on type of cancer. Drugs used to target pancreatic cancer include:


Cancer cell lines are indispensable for cancer research, as they provide an accessible, cost-effective model for cellular behavior and response. Based on the characteristics of the cell origins and the experimental need, cell lines may be used in one or more applications. Some examples of application-specific cell line use are included below.


Application Cell line used
In vitro screening CFPAC-1, BxPC-3, AsPC-1, PANC-1 and MIA PaCa-2 cell lines were used to screen the anticancer properties of drug conjugates to treat pancreatic cancer1
Xenograft models for cancer PANC-1 cell line was used to generate a xenograft model to evaluate the efficacy of microRNA-delivering nanovectors2
Evaluation of novel targets BxPC-3, MIA PaCa-2 cell line models were used to evaluate mTORC2/RICTOR as a novel target for treatment of human PDAC3
Drug response AsPC-1 pancreatic cancer cell line was employed to investigate the anticancer activity of chemical compounds like manzamine A4
Novel therapeutic strategy Pancreatic cancer cell lines like HuP-T1, HuP-T3 and PANC-1 were used to suggest anti-sense therapy for the K-ras point mutation frequently observed in pancreatic cancers5
Toxicity studies Effects of lipotoxicity studied in insulin-secreting human pancreatic β-cell line, 1.1B46
miRNA  regulation studies Role of miR-21 in the pathogenesis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma studied in MIA PaCa-2 cell line7
Cell migration studies Hup-T4 cell lines were used to investigate the role of the ARP2/3 complex in pancreatic cancer cell migration8

ECACC Pancreatic Cancer Cell Lines

Product No. Cell Name Cell Line Origin
93100618 AR42J Rat exocrine pancreatic tumour
96020930 AsPC-1 Human pancreas adenocarcinoma ascites metastasis
93120816 BxPC-3 Human primary pancreatic adenocarcinoma
91112501 CFPAC-1 Human Caucasian pancreatic adenocarcinoma
88031604 CRI-D11 Rat NEDH islet tumour
88031605 CRI-D2 Rat NEDH islet tumour
87052701 CRI-G1 Rat NEDH islet tumour
88031603 CRI-G5 Rat NEDH islet tumour
94022431 DSL6A/C1 Rat pancreatic carcinoma
93121054 HaP-T1 Hamster Syrian adenocarcinoma
93121055 HuP-T3 Human pancreatic adenocarcinoma
93121056 HuP-T4 Human pancreatic adenocarcinoma
85062806 MIA-Pa-Ca-2 Human Caucasian pancreatic carcinoma
87092802 PANC-1 Human Caucasian pancreas
94060601 PSN1 Human pancreatic adenocarcinoma
95090402 RIN-5F Rat islet cell tumour
95071701 RIN-m Rat islet cell tumour
94022427 TGP 49 Mouse pancreatic acinar carcinoma
94022429 TGP 52 Mouse islet cell tumour
94022430 TGP 54 Mouse pancreatic islet cell tumour
95062833 TGP 55 Mouse pancreatic small cell anaplastic carcinoma


  1. Hashim, Y. M., Spitzer, D., Vangveravong, S., Hornick, M. C., Garg, G., Hornick, J. R., Goedegebuure, P., Mach, R. H., and Hawkins, W. G. (2014) Targeted pancreatic cancer therapy with the small molecule drug conjugate SW IV-134. Mol. Oncol. 8, 956–967.
  2. Hu, Q. L., Jiang, Q. Y., Jin, X., Shen, J., Wang, K., Li, Y. B., Xu, F. J., Tang, G. P., and Li, Z. H. (2013) Cationic microRNA-delivering nanovectors with bifunctional peptides for efficient treatment of PANC-1 xenograft model. Biomaterials 34, 2265–2276.
  3. Schmidt, K. M., Hellerbrand, C., Ruemmele, P., Michalski, C. W., Kong, B., Kroemer, A., Hackl, C., Schlitt, H. J., Geissler, E. K., and Lang, S. A. (2017) Inhibition of mTORC2 component RICTOR impairs tumor growth in pancreatic cancer models. Oncotarget 8, 24491–24505.
  4. Guzmán, E. A., Johnson, J. D., Linley, P. A., Gunasekera, S. E., and Wright, A. E. (2011) A novel activity from an old compound: Manzamine A reduces the metastatic potential of AsPC-1 pancreatic cancer cells and sensitizes them to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Invest. New Drugs 29, 777–785.
  5. Kita, K., Saito, S., Morioka, C. Y., and Watanabe, A. (1999) Growth inhibition of human pancreatic cancer cell lines by anti-sense oligonucleotides specific to mutated K-ras genes. Int. J. Cancer 80, 553–558.
  6. Vasu, S., McClenaghan, N. H., McCluskey, J. T., and Flatt, P. R. (2013) Effects of lipotoxicity on a novel insulin-secreting human pancreatic β-cell line, 1.1B4. Biol. Chem. 394, 909–918.
  7. Bhatti, I., Lee, A., James, V., Hall, R. I., Lund, J. N., Tufarelli, C., Lobo, D. N., and Larvin, M. (2011) Knockdown of microRNA-21 inhibits proliferation and increases cell death by targeting programmed cell death 4 (PDCD4) in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. J. Gastrointest. Surg. Off. J. Soc. Surg. Aliment. Tract 15, 199–208.
  8. Rauhala, H. E., Teppo, S., Niemelä, S., and Kallioniemi, A. (2013) Silencing of the ARP2/3 complex disturbs pancreatic cancer cell migration. Anticancer Res. 33, 45–52.