BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Neoadjuvant therapy is applied to improve the prognosis associated with advanced gastric cancer. Only patients with a major response seem to have a survival benefit. Predictive markers to allow individualisation of treatment could be helpful. We examined the association of survivin protein expression with histopathologic response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and prognosis in patients with gastric cancer. METHODS: Forty patients with gastric cancer received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Afterwards, 38 patients underwent total gastrectomy, while 2 patients received definitive chemotherapy because of tumour progression. Histomorphologic regression was defined as major response when resected specimens contained <10% tumour cells. Intratumoural survivin expression was determined by immunohistochemistry in pre- and post-therapeutic specimens and correlated with clinicopathologic parameters. RESULTS: The pre- and post-therapeutic intratumoural survivin protein expression was not associated with histomorphologic regression. Post-therapeutic survivin expression did not have prognostic impact. A significant association was detected between pre-therapeutic survivin levels and prognosis: patients with a higher survivin protein expression showed a significant survival benefit. In multivariate analysis pre-therapeutic survivin expression was characterised as an independent prognostic marker, besides pN-status and histopathologic regression. CONCLUSIONS: The pre-therapeutic survivin protein expression seems to be an independent prognostic marker in the multimodality treatment of advanced gastric cancer.