This study was carried out to define independent prognostic factors influencing survival time and to examine the survival time of patients with advanced gastric cancer treated by curative resection. Six hundred and forty-eight patients were identified of whom 275 patients died of tumor recurrence during follow-up. Univariate analysis using Mantel-Cox analysis, indicated that tumor size, tumor location, gross appearance, degree of gastric wall invasion, lymph node metastasis and operative procedures were significant factors related to survival time (P less than 0.01 to P less than 0.05). Multivariate analysis using the Cox proportional hazard model adjusted for sex, age and other factors, suggested that tumor size (P less than 0.01, relative risk = 1.79), degree of gastric wall invasion (P less than 0.01, rr = 1.24) and lymph node metastasis (P less than 0.01, rr = 2.39) were the most independent prognostic factors statistically, although these three prognostic factors were inter-related. When the tumor is less than 5 cm and there is no serosal invasion or lymph node metastasis, then a longer survival time can be expected (88.7% at 5-years). If the tumor size exceeds 10 cm and there is invasion into neighboring structures and lymph node metastases, then survival time will be short (11.9% at 4-years).