Collagen triple helix repeat containing-1 (CTHRC1) is a secreted protein involved in vascular remodeling, bone formation and developmental morphogenesis. CTHRC1 has recently been shown to be expressed in human cancers such as breast cancer and melanoma. In this study, we show that CTHRC1 is highly expressed in human pancreatic cancer tissues and plays a role in the progression and metastasis of the disease. CTHRC1 promoted primary tumor growth and metastatic spread of cancer cells to distant organs in orthotopic xenograft tumor mouse models. Overexpression of CTHRC1 in cancer cells resulted in increased motility and adhesiveness, whereas these cellular activities were diminished by down-regulation of the protein. CTHRC1 activated several key signaling molecules, including Src, focal adhesion kinase, paxillin, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK), extracellular signal-regulated kinase and Rac1. Treatment with chemical inhibitors of Src, MEK or Rac1 and expression of dominant-negative Rac1 attenuated CTHRC1-induced cell migration and adhesion. Collectively, our results suggest that CTHRC1 has a role in pancreatic cancer progression and metastasis by regulating migration and adhesion activities of cancer cells.