Tumor-associated angiogenesis is important for tumor growth and metastasis. Interleukin (IL)-8 was recently reported to be an important angiogenic factor both in vitro and in vivo. In this study we evaluated, for the first time, IL-8 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), using real-time quantitative reverse-transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and correlated IL-8 mRNA expression in tumor and nontumor lung samples from 58 patients with NSCLC (29 with squamous cell carcinoma and 29 with adenocarcinoma, of whom 20 had Stage I, 10 had Stage II, and 28 had Stage III disease) with these patients' clinicopathologic characteristics, angiogenesis, and outcome. IL-8 protein expression and tumor microvessel count (MC) were assessed immunohistochemically. IL-8 mRNA expression was significantly greater in tumor tissue; high expression was highly associated with tumor in advanced stages (p = 0.03), distant lymph node metastasis (p = 0.02), high tumor MC (> 123) (p = 0.00003), short survival (< 26 mo) (p < 0.00001), and early relapse (< 16 mo) (p < 0.00001). Tumor MC correlated strongly with IL-8 mRNA expression (r = 0.56, p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed IL-8 mRNA expression and intratumor MC to be the most important predictors of patient survival and relapse. Thus, in NSCLC, IL-8 mRNA expression is strongly associated with tumor progression, tumor angiogenesis, survival, and time to relapse, suggesting its use as a prognostic indicator.