The expression of three sialylated mucin-associated antigens - sialosyl-Lewisa (SLEA), sialosyl-Lewisx (SLEX) and sialosyl-Tn (STN) - and their correlation with the TNM stage, histopathological growth pattern and prognosis was investigated in a series of 127 gastric carcinomas. Various classification systems (pTNM, WHO and Laurén) did not display any correlation with an expression of the sialomucin antigens under study. SLEA reactivity was strongly associated with an unfavorable outcome of the total population, whereas SLEX and STN did not exert such an impact. However, in the subgroups of pTNM stage I as well as pN0 patients, SLEA and SLEX reactivity of the tumors was associated with a worse prognosis. In the subgroup of diffuse-type cancers as defined according to Laurén's classification, the expression of all three antigens indicated a worsening of the prognosis.