The genotypes of L-myc and GSTM1 genes were studied in normal lung tissues of 98 non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) patients from Hong Kong using polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) techniques. Results showed a statistical difference in L-myc genotypes between Chinese and African Americans (P = 0.02). A significant deficit in heterozygotes resulting in the departure from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in lung cancer female patients was detected (0.01 < P < 0.02). There were significant differences in survival times in patients having L-L and S-S genotypes, with shorter survival times in the patients with L-L genotypes (0.01 < P < 0.05). Data on age, size of tumor, histological types, and lymph node metastasis showed no significant association with L-myc genotype. The survival time in the GSTM1-negative (null gene) group was significantly different from the GSTM1 positive group between 16 and 24 months after operation (0.01 < P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the distribution of GSTM1 genotypes between Chinese and Caucasian Americans.