Functional somatostatin receptors (SSTR) are lost in human pancreatic cancer. Transfection of SSTR-1 inhibited pancreatic cancer cell proliferation in vitro. We hypothesize that stable transfection of SSTR-1 may inhibit pancreatic cancer growth in vivo possibly through cell cycle arrest. In this study, we examined the expression of SSTR-1 mRNA in human pancreatic cancer tissue specimens, and investigated the effect of SSTR-1 overexpression on cell proliferation, cell cycle, and tumor growth in a subcutaneous nude mouse model. We found that SSTR-1 mRNA was downregulated in the majority of pancreatic cancer tissue specimens. Transfection of SSTR-1 caused cell cycle arrest at the G(0)/G(1) growth phase, with a corresponding decline of cells in the S (mitotic) phase. The overexpression of SSTR-1 significantly inhibited subcutaneous tumor size by 71% and 43% (n = 5, P < 0.05, Student's t-test), and inhibited tumor weight by 69% and 47% (n = 5, P < 0.05, Student's t-test), in Panc-SSTR-1 and MIA-SSTR-1 groups, respectively, indicating the potent inhibitory effect of SSTR-1 on pancreatic cancer growth. Our data demonstrate that overexpression of SSTR-1 significantly inhibits pancreatic cancer growth possibly through cell cycle arrest. This study suggests that gene therapy with SSTR-1 may be a potential adjuvant treatment for pancreatic cancer.