Using bioinformatics, we have identified a novel tumor-specific gene BJ-TSA-9, which has been validated by Northern blot analysis and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). BJ-TSA-9 mRNA was expressed in 52.5% (21 of 40) of human lung cancer tissues and was especially higher in lung adenocarcinoma (68.8%). To explore the potential application of BJ-TSA-9 for the detection of circulating cancer cells in lung cancer patients, nested RT-PCR was performed. The overall positive detection rate was 34.3% (24 of 70) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with various types of lung cancers and was 53.6% (15 of 28) in PBMCs of lung adenocarcinoma patients. In combination with the detection of two known marker genes SCC and LUNX, the detection rate was increased to 81.4%. A follow-up study was performed in 37 patients after surgical removal of tumor mass. Among nine patients with persistent detection of two to three tumor marker transcripts in PBMCs, six patients had recurrence/metastasis. In contrast, 28 patients with transient detection of one tumor marker or without detection of any tumor marker were all in remission. Thus, BJ-TSA-9 may serve as a marker for lung cancer diagnosis and as a marker, in combination with two other tumor markers, for the prediction of the recurrence and prognosis of lung cancer patients.