Aurora-A/BTAK/STK15 gene which encodes a centrosome-associated kinase is located on chromosome 20q13.2, a highly amplified region in various human tumors. Recent studies have demonstrated the overexpression and amplification of Aurora-A in many malignant human cancers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the amplification and expression of Aurora-A in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Amplification of Aurora-A was determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization in 7 esophageal cancer cell lines and real-time PCR in 29 esophageal cancer samples. We detected Aurora-A expression in 7 esophageal cancer cell lines and 38 esophageal cancers samples by semi-quantitative reverse transcription-PCR and Western blot hybridization. The amplification of Aurora-A was detected in 27 of 29 (93.1%) esophageal cancer samples and 6 of 7 (85.7%) cancer cell lines. Aurora-A was overexpressed in 27 of 38 (71.1%) esophageal cancer samples and all 7 esophageal cancer cell lines. We conclude that Aurora-A is amplified and overexpressed in esophageal squamous cancer.