ERCC1 (excision repair cross-complementation group 1) and XPD (ERCC2, excision repair cross-complementation group 2) as genes have been known to be belonged to the nucleotide excision repair pathway and therefore related to DNA repair. Polymorphisms in these genes have been rarely evaluated in terms of predicting cancer patient survival. We investigated whether these polymorphisms have an effect on response to chemotherapy and survival in 109 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer treated with cisplatin combination chemotherapy. Polymorphisms of ERCC1 Asn118Asn (C --> T), XPD Lys751Gln (A --> C) and Asp312Asn (G --> A) were evaluated using a SNaPshot kit. As for chemotherapy response, treatment response did not show statistically significant differences between the wild genotypes and the variant genotypes for the ERCC1 and XPD gene. The median survival time of all patients was 376 days (95% CI, 291-488). As for survival rate according to the polymorphism of codon 118 in ERCC1, median survival time in patients showing C/C genotype was 486 days (95% CI, 333-x), which was significantly different from the 281 days (95% CI, 214-376) of patients with the variant genotype (T/T or C/T) (P = 0.0058). Using the Cox-proportional hazards model, the polymorphism of codon 118 in ERCC1, response to chemotherapy, weight loss and performance status effected overall survival significantly (P = 0.0001, 0.0001, 0.0028 and 0.0184, respectively). However, polymorphisms of codons 751 and 312 in the XPD gene did not affect patient survival (P = 0.4711 and 0.4542, respectively). Therefore, we suggest that the C/C genotype in codon 118 of ERCC1 is a surrogate marker for predicting better survival in non-small-cell lung cancer patients treated with cisplatin combination chemotherapy.