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This review describes the recent advances in the molecular events involved in pancreatic cancer initiation, progression, and metastasis. Additionally, the importance of deregulated cellular signaling elements as potential targets for developing novel therapeutic strategies against incurable forms of pancreatic cancer is reported. The emphasis is on the critical functions gained by numerous growth factors and their receptors, such as epidermal growth factor receptor, hedgehog signaling, and proangiogenic agents such as vascular endothelial factor and interleukin-8 for the sustained growth, survival, and metastasis of pancreatic cancer cells. The molecular mechanisms associated with antitumoral properties and the clinical benefits of gemcitabine alone or in combination with other cytotoxic agents for the treatment of pancreatic cancer are discussed.