Expression of insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF-2) has been reported in tissue specimens and cell lines of human colorectal cancers. However, the effects of IGF-2 in colorectal cancer patients are not well known. In this study, IGF-2 staining was performed on tissue samples from 92 patients with colorectal cancer, and the relationship of IGF-2 staining to clinicopathological variables, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) staining and patient survival was analyzed. IGF-2 staining was correlated with tumor progression, PCNA staining and patient survival. Our results suggest that IGF-2 plays an important role in tumor progression and that IGF-2 staining is useful as a prognostic factor in colorectal cancer patients.