Risk of colorectal cancer recurrence has traditionally been determined by use of pathologic staging. However, it is apparent that subgroups of patients exist within tumor stages whose clinical behavior differs. This study was undertaken to identify tumor-associated factors that might be predictive of outcome in patients with intermediate stages who will benefit the most from postsurgical adjuvant therapy. Seventy patients with stage II and III colorectal cancer were assessed for DNA index, S-phase fraction, p53 expression, and Ki-67 index. Tumor recurrence was analyzed by means of nonparametric tests and Cox proportional hazard models incorporating standard clinical and pathologic criteria. Of the four prognostic markers evaluated, Ki-67 index was significantly associated with disease recurrence (P = 0.02), whereas DNA index, S-phase fraction, and p53 expression were not. After stratification by tumor stage, significant associations between Ki-67 index and disease recurrence were retained in stage II tumors (P = 0.01) but not in stage III tumors (P = 0.23). Cox proportional hazard regression analysis indicated that among stage II patients, those with a Ki-67 index >45% were associated with 6.5 times greater risk for disease recurrence than those with a Ki-67 index ≤45%. It was concluded that an elevated Ki-67 index is associated with an increased risk of tumor recurrence in stage II colorectal cancer.