To elucidate gene expression signatures associated with gastric carcinogenesis, we performed a genome-wide expression analysis of 46 Finnish and 20 Japanese gastric tissues. Comparative analysis between Finnish and Japanese datasets identified 58 common genes that were differentially expressed between cancerous and non-neoplastic gastric tissues. Twenty-six of these genes were up-regulated in cancer and 32 down-regulated. Of these genes, 64% were also differentially expressed in another unrelated publicly available dataset. The expression levels of four of the up-regulated genes, CXCL1, SPARC, SPP1 and SULF, were further analyzed in 82 gastric tissues using quantitative real-time RT-PCR. This analysis validated the results from the microarray analysis as the expression of these four genes was significantly higher in the cancerous tissue compared with the normal tissue (fold change 3.4-8.9). Over-expression of CXCL1 also positively correlated with improved survival. To conclude, irrespective of the microarray platform or patient population, a common gastric cancer gene expression signature of 58 genes, including CXCL1, SPARC, SPP1, and SULF, was identified. These genes represent potential biomarkers for gastric cancer.