PURPOSE: Serine-threonine kinase11 (STK11) was originally identified in 1997 as the causative mutation that's responsible for Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome (PJS). Several recent studies have reported that the STK11 gene is an important human tumor suppressor gene in lung cancer. We evaluated the associations between the polymorphisms of the STK11 promoter region and the risk of lung cancer in 901 Koreans. MATERIALS AND METHODS: By direct sequencing, we first discovered three novel polymorphisms (-1,795 T>C, -981 C>T and -160 G>T) and four known polymorphisms (-1,580 C>T, -1,494 A>C, -881 A>G and -458 G>C) of the STK11 promoter region in 24 blood samples of 24 Korean lung cancer patients. Further genotype analyses were then performed on 443 lung cancer patients and 458 controls. RESULTS: We discovered three novel polymorphisms and we identified four known polymorphisms of the STK11 promoter region in a Korean population. Statistical analyses revealed that the genotypes and haplotypes in the STK11 gene were not significantly associated with the risk of lung cancer in a Korean population. CONCLUSION: This is the first study that's focused on the association of STK11 promoter polymorphisms and the risk of lung cancer in a Korean population. To evaluate the role of the STK11 gene for the risk of lung cancer, the genotypes of the STK11 promoter region (-1,795 T>C, -1,494 A>C and -160 G>T) were determined in 901 Koreans, yet the result revealed no significant difference between the lung cancer patients and the controls. These results suggest that the three promoter polymorphisms we studied are not important risk factors for the susceptibility to lung cancer in Koreans.