Manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) levels have been found to be low in human pancreatic cancer [Pancreas 26, (2003), 23] and human pancreatic cancer cell lines [Cancer Res. 63, (2003), 1297] when compared to normal human pancreas. We hypothesized that stable overexpression of pancreatic cancer cells with MnSOD cDNA would alter the malignant phenotype. MIA PaCa-2 cells were stably transfected with a pcDNA3 plasmid containing sense human MnSOD cDNA or containing no MnSOD insert by using the lipofectAMINE method. G418-resistant colonies were isolated, grown and maintained. Overexpression of MnSOD was confirmed in two selected clones with a 2-4-fold increase in MnSOD immunoreactive protein. Compared with the parental and neo control cells, the MnSOD-overexpressing clones had decreased growth rates, growth in soft agar and plating efficiency in vitro, while in vivo, the MnSOD-overexpressing clones had slower growth in nude mice. These results suggest that MnSOD may be a tumor suppressor gene in human pancreatic cancer.