BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to examine BRF2 expression in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and explore the relationship of BRF2 protein with clinicopathologic factors, tumor angiogenesis and prognosis. METHODS: Both BRF2 protein and intratumoral microvessels were examined by immunohistochemical staining in 107 non-small cell lung cancer patients. Intratumoral microvessel density (MVD) was measured by counting CD-34 positive immunostained endothelial cells. Western blot and RT-PCR analyses were utilized to investigate the BRF2 expression status in tissues. RESULTS: A notably higher level of BRF2 expression was found in NSCLC tissues at protein levels. In addition, univariate and multivariate analysis demonstrated that BRF2 protein over-expression and high MVD were significantly associated with tumor relapse. Although BRF2 overexpression and high MVD indicated poor 5-year overall survival (p = 0.004 and p = 0.019, respectively), multivariate analysis demonstrated that only BRF2 overexpression was an independent prognostic factor for unfavorable overall survival (P = 0.021). CONCLUSIONS: BRF2 is a promising biomarker to identify individuals with poor prognostic potential and a possible target for anti-angiogenic therapy for patients with early-stage NSCLC.