Histopathology is insufficient to predict disease progression and clinical outcome in lung adenocarcinoma. Here we show that gene-expression profiles based on microarray analysis can be used to predict patient survival in early-stage lung adenocarcinomas. Genes most related to survival were identified with univariate Cox analysis. Using either two equivalent but independent training and testing sets, or 'leave-one-out' cross-validation analysis with all tumors, a risk index based on the top 50 genes identified low-risk and high-risk stage I lung adenocarcinomas, which differed significantly with respect to survival. This risk index was then validated using an independent sample of lung adenocarcinomas that predicted high- and low-risk groups. This index included genes not previously associated with survival. The identification of a set of genes that predict survival in early-stage lung adenocarcinoma allows delineation of a high-risk group that may benefit from adjuvant therapy.