Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal cancers in humans. The majority of these cancers arise from the pancreatic duct epithelium. Research into the pathogenesis of pancreatic carcinoma has largely relied on animal models. In vitro models of pancreatic carcinogenesis using propagable cultured epithelial cells derived from the pancreatic ducts of rats and hamsters have been described. A human model, however, has been nonexistent due to the unavailability of propagable cultured duct epithelial cells derived from normal human pancreas. We report here a reproducible method for the long-term culture of pancreatic duct epithelial cells derived from normal and benign adult human pancreata by infection with a retrovirus containing the E6 and E7 genes of the human papilloma virus 16. One of these cell lines has become immortal and has propagated continuously for more than 20 passages. They remain anchorage dependent in their growth and nontumorigenic in nude mice. These cell lines and the methodology described here to establish them may provide new avenues for in vitro studies of the roles played by duct epithelium in human pancreatic diseases and cancers.