Patients with previously untreated squamous cell lung carcinomas were evaluated to see if combining the expression of molecular and cellular factors with the most important clinical prognostic factors could improve the diagnostic ability to predict prognosis. For this reason, immunohistochemistry was used to examine the squamous cell lung carcinomas from 121 patients for their expression of ERBB-1, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), cyclin A, FOS, JUN and MYC. Median survival was shorter for patients with ERBB-1-, VEGF-, cyclin A-, FOS-, or JUN-positive tumours. For those patients with positive lymph node involvement, the survival times were also shorter in the VEGF-positive, cyclin A-positive and FOS-positive groups. Multivariate analysis independently demonstrated a significant prognostic value for lymph node involvement, VEGF and FOS.