Human gene MAGE-I codes for an antigen that is recognized on melanoma cells by autologous cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTL). This antigen is potentially useful as a target for cancer immunotherapy because gene MAGE-I is not expressed in any normal tissues except the testis. We tested 46 surgical samples of non-small-cell lung carcinomas and observed MAGE-I expression in 16 of them (35%). Genes MAGE-2 and 3, which are closely related to MAGE-I, were expressed by a similar proportion of these tumors. Some small-cell lung tumors also express MAGE genes. The proportion of tumors expressing MAGE-I suggests that lung tumor patients may constitute the largest group of patients potentially eligible for pilot studies involving MAGE-I immunization.