Survivin and livin are highly expressed in cancer cells and transformed cells, but show little or no expression in normal differentiated tissues. Although human antibody responses to cancer-associated antigens have been detected, the response to livin has not yet been described in lung cancer patients. We examined prevalence of anti-livin antibodies in such patients with a specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using recombinant protein. Using a cutoff value for positivity determined as the mean absorbance +2S.D. for healthy control samples, 19 of 37 lung cancer patients (51.3%) were positive for anti-livin antibodies. Of 31 samples from the same lung cancer patients, 18 (58.1%) were positive for anti-survivin antibodies. When sera from 31 lung cancer patients were assessed simultaneously by anti-survivin and anti-livin ELISAs. Twenty-one patients (71%) were positive for survivin, livin, or both. Intensity of anti-livin antibody responses did not correlate with intensity of anti-survivin responses. Like anti-survivin antibodies, anti-livin antibodies, thus, can be detected in many lung cancer patients. Testing for both antibodies together may prove useful in detecting lung cancer, but more extensive studies are needed to establish the clinical significance of anti-livin antibodies.