Cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases may reflect the status of cell proliferation in cancer tissues. The authors sought to determine whether cdc2 and cyclin D1 are expressed in breast cancer and are useful as prognostic factors. Accumulation of cdc2 and cyclin D1 proteins was examined in 88 cases of breast cancer using immunoblotting techniques and correlations with clinicopathological factors and prognoses were investigated. Cdc2 and cyclin D1 proteins were observed in 27.3 % and 75.0 % of breast cancers studied, respectively. The incidence of lymph node metastasis was significantly high in cdc2/cyclin D1-double positive group and low in double negative group. On the other hand, the incidence of estrogen receptor (ER) negative cases was significantly higher in the cdc2-positive/cyclin D1-negative group. Relapse-free survival times of cdc2-positive cases were significantly shorter than those of Cdc2-negative cases. The relapse-free survival times of cyclin D1-positive cases also tended to be poorer than those of cyclin D1-negative cases. Multivariate analyses revealed cdc2 as the second most significant of the prognostic variables, following lymph node status. The three-year relapse-free survival rate of cdc2/cyclin D1-double positive cases was 58.9%, whereas that of cdc2/cyclin D1-doublue negative cases was 100%. Cdc2 and cyclin D1 represent the status of cell proliferation in breast cancer, and may be useful in breast cancer assessment.