The aim of this study was to investigate the expression and functional status of Fas ligand (FasL) and its receptor (Fas) in human pancreatic cancers. Using RT-PCR and Western blotting, Fas and FasL were expressed in seven surgically resected pancreatic cancer specimens and five cell lines; Capan-1, AsPC-1, BxPC-3, PANC-1, and MIA PaCa-2. In the resected specimens, pancreatic cancer cells induced apoptosis in the surrounding lymphoid cells. In coculture experiments of pancreatic cancer and Jurkat T cells, 50% of Jurkat T cells underwent apoptosis after 2 days, however, almost all pancreatic cancer cells remained viable. In addition, by testing Fas function using anti-Fas antibody (CH11), all cell lines were resistant to Fas-mediated apoptosis except Capan-1 cells which showed sensitivity similar to that of Jurkat T cells. These results suggest that pancreatic cancer cells evade immune surveillance by expression of FasL and non-functioning Fas that allow them to activated T-cells. These tumor escape mechanisms may contribute to the rapid fatal course of pancreatic cancer.