Tumour specimens of 206 patients with untreated non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC) were analysed immunohistochemically for the expression of the basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and for its receptor (FGFR-1, Flg). Seventy of the tumours showed weak expression, 109 moderate and 27 high expression of bFGF. Thirty-eight tumours had low expression of FGFR-1, 116 had moderate and 52 cases high expression. Patients with high FGFR-1 expression had significantly shorter survival times than patients with weak or moderate expressions (P < 0.05), but there was no significant correlation between bFGF expression and patient survival. The results of the multivariate analysis demonstrated that FGFR-1 in the presence of stage is not an independent prognostic factor.