Stathmin is an intracellular phosphoprotein that is overexpressed in a number of human malignancies. Our previous study using proteomic profiling showed that significant upregulation of stathmin occurs in oral squamous-cell carcinoma (OSCC)-derived cell lines. In the current study, to determine the potential involvement of stathmin in OSCC, we evaluated the state of stathmin protein and mRNA expression in OSCC-derived cell lines and human primary OSCCs. A significant increase in stathmin expression was observed in all OSCC-derived cell lines examined compared to human normal oral keratinocytes. In immunohistochemistry, 65% of the OSCCs were positive for stathmin, and no immunoreaction was observed in corresponding normal tissues. Real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction data were consistent with the protein expression status. Moreover, stathmin expression status was correlated with the TNM stage grading. Furthermore, we found a statistical correlation between the protein expression status and disease-free survival (P=0.029). These results suggest that expression of stathmin could contribute to cancer progression/prognosis, and that stathmin may have potential as a biomarker and a therapeutic target for OSCC.