Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common form of lymphoma. According to the clinical risk factors and biological heterogeneity, clinical outcome of DLBCL is extremely various, with 5-year survival rates between 30 and 80 %. Although the International Prognostic Index (IPI) remains the primary clinical tool used to predict outcome for patients with DLBCL, notable variability in outcome is still observed within the same IPI score. The cell division cycle 7 (CDC7) is a serine-threonine kinase, which is required to initiate DNA replication. Study showed that high expression of CDC7 was correlated with poor prognosis in patients with DLBCL. Whether CDC7 is an independent prognostic factor for DLBCL remains debatable. We studied the expression of CDC7 protein in 60 Chinese DLBCL patients with immunohistochemical analysis, 34 patients (56.7 %) categorized as low CDC7 expression and 26 patients (43.3 %) as high CDC7 expression. The median survival time of patients with low CDC7 expression was not achieved and that of high expression was 9 months (P = 0.027). A multivariate analysis showed that IPI score and Ann Arbor stage were independent prognostic factors in relation to patients' OS (P < 0.05). Pearson correlation analysis showed that CDC7 expression level was positively correlated with IPI score and Ann Arbor stage (P < 0.001). The results suggest that CDC7 expression level in combination with IPI score and Ann Arbor stage can be specific prognostic factors for DLBCL patients. CDC7 could also be a potential therapeutic target in DLBCL, especially for ABC-DLBCL.