The observation that the proteins encoded by ras genes play a central role in the signalling pathways used by cells to respond to growth factors and the fact that mutated ras proteins are constantly promoting cell division have led to a PCR-based hunt for additional clinical information. In the present study, K-ras analysis draws the following conclusions: (1) K-ras point mutation frequency was higher in the surgery group (10 of 24 patients) than in the chemotherapy-surgery group (3 of 20 patients). (2) Mutated K-ras was predominantly observed at codon 12 but five mutations appeared at codon 61. (3) Mutations were identified in the squamous cell carcinoma histological NSCLC subtype except in four cases corresponding to adenocarcinoma. (4) A multifarious pattern of substitutions, especially at codon 12, were noted with aspartic K 12 substitutions more prone to develop bone metastases. (5) Although a genotypic K-ras classification of NSCLC may not yet be formulated, our accumulated data (unpublished) suggest a trend toward it. (6) Patients with mutated K-ras tumors in the surgery group had no different survival than those with normal K-ras. However our pooled data as well as other authors' results assert that mutated K-ras constitute an additional prognostic datum that deserves to be included together with TNM classification. In the design of new preoperative (neoadjuvant) chemotherapy trials, stratification of tumors by K-ras status deserves to be further investigated in order to correlate with response, relapse and survival. Mutated K-ras genotype merits further research. Finally, the paradigm of uneven histological distribution and mutated K-ras spectra among researchers should serve as a stimulus to search for further contributions in this field.