PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to examine the expression of E-cadherin, beta-catenin, Cdx2, MMP7 in gastric cancer and to evaluate the clinical significance of these molecules in tumor recurrence within 2 years of pT2 and N1/N2 gastric cancer. METHODS: In 122 patients who underwent radical resection of gastric cancer, we investigated the association between the expression of these molecules and clinicopathologic factors by immunohistochemistry. The included criteria were pT2 and N1 or N2 (6th AJCC TNM). RESULTS: The expression of MMP7 was significantly associated with N stage (N1 vs. N2) (P=0.011). The negative expression of beta-catenin was strongly correlated with tumor recurrence within a 2-year period. However, the expression of these molecules was not related with recurrent sites. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that negative expression of beta-catenin was an independent predictor for tumor recurrence within 2 years (OR 2.366; 95% CI 1.056~5.297; P=0.036). CONCLUSION: Negative expression of beta-catenin may serve as a significant indicator for predicting tumor recurrence within a 2-year period in pT2 and N1/N2 gastric cancer.