Pancreatic cancer is characterized by its late detection, aggressive growth, intense infiltration into adjacent tissue, early metastasis, resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy and a strong “desmoplastic reaction”. The dense stroma surrounding carcinoma cells is composed of fibroblasts, activated stellate cells (myofibroblast-like cells), various inflammatory cells, proliferating vascular structures, collagens and fibronectin. In particular the cellular components of the stroma produce the tumor microenvironment, which plays a critical role in tumor growth, invasion, spreading, metastasis, angiogenesis, inhibition of anoikis, and chemoresistance. Fibroblasts, myofibroblasts and activated stellate cells produce the extracellular matrix components and are thought to interact actively with tumor cells, thereby promoting cancer progression. In this review, we discuss our current understanding of the role of pancreatic stellate cells (PSC) in the desmoplastic response of pancreas cancer and the effects of PSC on tumor progression, metastasis and drug resistance. Finally we present some novel ideas for tumor therapy by interfering with the cancer cell-host interaction.