The NM23-H1 gene product has been recently identified as a potential metastasis suppressor. Studies on breast carcinomas have shown an inverse correlation between NM23-H1 status and stage of carcinogenesis and overall survival. However, in colorectal cancer, conflicting data have been reported. This study aimed to investigate whether NM23-H1 immunostaining is correlated with tumour stage, overall survival, disease recurrence, tumour differentiation, age and sex in colorectal carcinomas for the Singapore population using chi-square analysis. The staining was performed on 141 paraffin-embedded surgical specimens collected between 1991 and 1992 using a monoclonal anti-NM23-H1 antibody. Follow-up of patients was until time of death or for 5 years. There was a very significant inverse association between tumour staging and NM23-H1 status (P = 0.0004). However, NM23-H1 expression was not significantly correlated to overall 5-year survival, disease recurrence, tumour differentiation, age or sex. Thus, although NM23-H1 may be involved in suppressing metastasis, NM23-H1 immunohistochemistry has no prognostic value in colorectal cancer. This is the first report of a significant inverse association of NM23-H1 status with tumour staging in colorectal cancer which showed no correlation with overall survival or disease recurrence. Our result thus cautions against the practice of equating an inverse relation of genetic markers with tumour staging to survival or disease recurrence.