Risk of pancreatic cancer, the fourth deadliest cancer in the United States, is increased by obesity. Calorie restriction (CR) prevents obesity, suppresses carcinogenesis in many models, and reduces serum levels of IGF-1. In the present study, we examined the impact of CR on a model of inflammation-associated pancreatitis and pancreatic dysplasia, with a focus on the mechanistic contribution of systemic IGF-1. Administration of a 30% CR diet for 14 weeks decreased serum IGF-1 levels and hindered pancreatic ductal lesion formation and dysplastic severity, relative to a higher calorie control diet, in transgenic mice overexpressing COX-2 [bovine keratin-5 promoter (BK5.COX-2)]. These findings in CR mice correlated with reductions in Ki-67-positive cells, vascular luminal size, VEGF expression, and phosphorylation and total expression of downstream mediators of the IGF-1 pathway. Cell lines derived from BK5.COX-2 ductal lesions (JC101 cells) formed pancreatic tumors in wild-type FVB mice that were significantly reduced in size by a 14-week CR regimen, relative to the control diet. To further understand the impact of circulating levels of IGF-1 on tumor growth in this model, we orthotopically injected JC101 cells into liver-specific IGF-1-deficient (LID) mice. The approximate 65% reduction of serum IGF-1 levels in LID mice resulted in significantly decreased burden of JC101 tumors, despite modestly elevated levels of circulating insulin and leptin. These data show that CR prevents development of dysplasia and growth of pancreatic cancer through alterations in IGF-1, suggesting that modulation of this pathway with dietary and/or pharmacologic interventions is a promising pancreatic cancer prevention strategy.