The results of major pulmonary resection in 58 patients greater than 70 years of age were reviewed. The histological distribution and extent of nodal metastases in this age group are the same as in younger patients. The absolute five-year survival rate for the 55 patients undergoing curative resection was 30% (17 patients). It was 36% (11 patients) for those patients with squamous cell carcinoma and 22% (5 patients) for those with adenocarcinoma. The operative mortality was only 14% (8 patients). Of the 49 patients treated by lobectomy, 17 lived five years or more free of disease, whereas none of the 6 patients treated by pneumonectomy survived five years. The five-year survival rate of 30% in this series of elderly patients treated by major pulmonary resection makes resections in such patients with bronchogenic carcinoma worthwhile.