The molecular pathology of precursor lesions leading to invasive pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas remains relatively unknown. We have applied cDNA microarray analysis to characterize gene expression profiles in a series of intraductal papillary-mucinous tumors (IPMTs) of the pancreas, which represents one of the alternative routes of intraepithelial progression to full malignancy in the pancreatic duct system. Using a cDNA microarray containing 4992 human genes, we screened a total of 13 IPMTs including nine noninvasive and four invasive cases. Expression change in more than half of the tumors was observed for 120 genes, ie, 62 up-regulated and 58 down-regulated genes. Some of the up-regulated genes in this study have been previously described in classical pancreatic carcinomas such as lipocalin 2, galectin 3, claudin 4, and cathepsin E. The most highly up-regulated genes in IPMTs corresponded to three members of the trefoil factor family (TFF1, TFF2, and TFF3). Immunohistochemistry performed on five genes found to be differentially expressed at the RNA level (TFF1, TFF2, TFF3, lipocalin 2, and galectin 3) showed a good concordance between transcript level and protein abundance, except for TFF2. Hierarchical clustering organized the cases according to the dysplastic and invasive phenotype of theIPMTs. This analysis has permitted us to implicate several genes (caveolin 1, glypican 1, growth arrest-specific 6 protein, cysteine-rich angiogenic inducer 61) in tumor progression. The observation that several genes are differentially expressed both in IPMTs and pancreatic carcinomas suggests that they may be involved at an early stage of pancreatic carcinogenesis.