Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, with a very poor survival rate. Therefore there is intense scrutiny to provide a better understanding of the molecular and cellular processes involved in this aggressive disease. The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a large family of extracellular matrix degrading enzymes believed to play a crucial role in tumor invasion and metastasis. MMP inhibitors are now under development as an adjuvant approach to surgical control of NSCLC. However, there is little data available on MMPs or their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) in NSCLC. Expression of MMP1, MMP2, MMP9, TIMP1 and TIMP2 was assessed in 44 stage II NSCLC. All proteins were found to be expressed at high levels and significant co-expression was observed. These results suggest that a broad spectrum MMP inhibitor is worthy of evaluation as a therapeutic method of reducing tumor invasion and metastasis in stage II NSCLC.