The purpose of this study was to determine whether a correlation exists between tumor cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 expression and disease-specific survival in patients with osteosarcoma lung metastases. Thirty-six patients diagnosed with osteosarcoma lung metastases between the years 1990 and 2001 were included in this retrospective study. The majority of the patients (72%) presented newly -diagnosed osteosarcoma lung metastases whereas the remaining patients (28%) presented recurrent disease. Clinicopathologic parameters were obtained from patients' clinical records. Tissue samples were obtained at the time of resection of the lung metastases and stained for COX-2 using immunohistochemistry. Samples were graded according to the intensity of COX-2 staining (grade 0: negative, grade 1: very weak, grade 2: weak, grade 3: moderate, and grade 4: strong). COX-2 staining was correlated with disease-specific survival and clinicopathologic parameters using the Jonckheere-Terpstra and the Kruskal-Wallis tests. All patients with grade 3 or 4 COX-2 expression died of osteosarcoma lung metastases. Ten percent of patients with grade 2 COX-2 expression and 29% of patients with grade 1 expression were alive and free of disease at the last follow-up. By contrast, 60% of the patients with grade 0 COX-2 expression were alive and free of disease at the last follow-up. No association between COX-2 expression and clinicopathologic parameters was found. However, COX-2 expression correlated inversely with disease-specific survival in patients with osteosarcoma lung metastases. Our data indicate that COX-2 expression in metastatic osteosarcoma may have prognostic significance.