Previous work from our laboratory has demonstrated overexpression of chemokines in head and neck cancer, and the utility of targeting CXCL5 for tumor therapy in a preclinical model. In the present study, we investigated the contribution of a related chemokine, CXCL8, to cellular properties associated with tumor progression, namely cell growth and motility. Expression of CXCL8 was detectable in multiple squamous carcinoma cell lines, indicating a possible role in pathogenesis. Overexpression of CXCL8 in HN4 primary tumor cells with low endogenous CXCL8 levels was found to increase cell growth, as judged by cell counting and MTT assays. Conversely, RNAi-mediated knockdown of CXCL8 expression in HN12 cells, derived from a synchronous metastasis and which express high levels of this chemokine, resulted in a decrease in proliferation. Similarly, overexpression of CXCL8 enhanced migration of HN4 cells, while suppression of CXCL8 inhibited HN12 cell migration and invasion through a basement membrane substitute. Taken together, these findings support the hypothesis that CXCL8 affects multiple processes involved in tumor progression and identify CXCL8 as a potential therapeutic target, similar to CXCL5.