In this study, we have investigated if current cancer therapeutic modalities including hyperthermia and ionizing radiation can increase the expression of NKG2D ligands in human cancer cell lines. The expressions of NKG2D ligands were induced by both heat shock and ionizing radiation in various cell lines including KM12, NCI-H23, HeLa and A375 cells with peaks at 2 h and 9 h after treatment, respectively, although inducibility of each NKG2D ligand was various depending on cell lines. During the induction of NKG2D ligands, heat shock protein 70 was induced by heat shock but not by ionizing radiation. These results were followed by increased susceptibilities to NK cell-mediated cytolysis after treatment with heat shock and ionizing radiation. These results suggest that heat shock and ionizing radiation induce NKG2D ligands and consequently might lead to increased NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity in various cancer cells.