Inactivation of the FHIT and TP53 genes is frequently observed in primary non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) and cell lines and may contribute to resistance to apoptotic stimuli elicited by various anti-tumor drugs. To evaluate a possible relationship between FHIT and TP53 status and response to platinum-analogue regimens, we retrospectively selected 55 NSCLC patients treated with carboplatin/gemcitabine. Pre-treatment formalin fixed biopsies were analyzed for FHIT and p53 protein expression by immunohistochemistry and representative micro dissected tissue for TP53 mutations by DG-DGGE/sequencing. The FHIT-negative immunophenotype (FHIT-, pathologic) was found in 33 patients (60%) and p53 over expression/mutation (p53+, pathologic) in 25 patients (45%). The FHIT-/p53+ combination was present in 12 patients (22%). Overall, there was partial response in 21 patients (38%), with subgroup response rates of 33% in FHIT+/p53-, 46% in FHIT+/p53+, 38% in FHIT-/p53- and 33% in FHIT-/p53+ patients. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 9.6, 7.9, 6.8 and 5.9 months and median overall survival (OS) was 12.8, 11.9, 10.5 and 8.7 months in the four groups, respectively. The Group comparison showed significantly worse PFS (p=0.04) in FHIT-/p53+ than the other groups. There was no significant difference in OS between the groups. A trend (p=0.07) for shorter OS was found in FHIT- cases suggesting that NSCLC tumors carrying this feature are less responsive to treatment. This retrospective study indicates that FHIT-/p53+ status might be a biological variable influencing the efficacy of carboplatin/ gemcitabine treatment in NSCLC.