We examined plasma levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in 54 patients with gastric carcinoma. Postoperative survival was significantly poorer in patients with plasma VEGF levels more than 10.0 pg/ml at the time of surgery. By an univariate analysis of the factors affecting survival, serosal invasion, lymph node metastasis, peritoneal dissemination, lymphatic vessel invasion, curability, and VEGF proteins were significant. By a multivariate analysis only VEGF levels and curability remained significant. Patients with recurrent disease, including liver metastasis, had significantly higher plasma VEGF concentrations than those with resectable primary tumors. VEGF, not bFGF, may serve as an independent prognosticator and a sensitive indicator for liver recurrence in patients with gastric carcinoma.