PURPOSE: This study was done to evaluate the differences in clinical parameters and survival rates between the primary tumor (T) and nodal involvement (N) in stage II cancers. METHODS: This report is a retrospective clinical analysis of 100 patients of stage II gastric cancer who were treated surgically at the Department of Surgery, Chonbuk National University Hospital from Jan. 1990 to Dec. 1999. Among the 100 patients, the pT3N0 group included 48 patients, and the pT2N1 group 52 patients. In this study, we used the UICC TNM staging system (the fourth edition). RESULTS: There were no significant differences except for age and tumor sizes between the pT3N0 and the pT2N1 groups with regard to the mode of presentation, sex, location of tumor, type of resection, lymph node dissection, Borrmann and Lauren classification, cell cytology, recurrence, number of resected lymph nodes, and the 5-year survival rate. Based on the number of lymph nodal metastases, no significant difference was observed in the 5-year survival rate, but based on the ratio of lymph nodal metastases, the 5-year survival rate for those with up to 20% frequency of metastases was 85.2% and the 5-year survival rate for those with greater than 20% was 40.0%, which is significant difference in the 5-year survival rate. CONCLUSION: In stage II gastric cancer, there was no difference between the pT3N0 and the pT2N1 group, except that in the pT2N1 group, a subdivision of the pN stage according to the ratio of lymph nodal metastases could be successfully applied to the clinical evaluation of stage II gastric cancer.