Cellular adhesion molecules might be used as markers in diagnosis and prognosis in some types of malignant tumors. The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical significance of the serum levels of activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule-1 (ALCAM) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in gastric cancer (GC) patients. Fifty-eight GC patients and 20 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were enrolled into this study. Pretreatment serum markers were determined by the solid-phase sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The median age at diagnosis was 59.5 years (range 32-82 years). Tumor localizations of the majority of the patients were antrum (n = 42, 72.4%) and tumor histopathologies of the majority of the patients were diffuse (n = 43, 74.1%). The majority of the patients had stage IV disease (n = 41, 70.7%). Thirty six (62.1%) patients had lymph node involvement. The median follow-up time was 66 months (range 1-97.2 months). At the end of the observation period, 26 patients (44.8%) were dead. The median survival for all patients was 21.4 +/- 5 months (%95 CI, 11.5-31.3). The 1-year survival rates were 66.2%.