PURPOSE: At present, a human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-based concept of tumor biology has been established, and trastuzumab (Herceptin(R); Genentech/Roche, San Francisco, CA, USA), a monoclonal humanized antibody directed against HER2, is a pivotal agent for the management of HER2 positive (HER2+) metastatic breast cancer. It is also known that HER2 has a predictive value in gastric cancer; however, its association with the prognosis of this disease remains uncertain. The purpose of this study was to evaluate both the relationship between HER2 overexpression in the tumors of gastric cancer patients, and the prognosis of these patients who have had curative resection. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 139 consecutive patients with gastric cancer who underwent surgery at the Kosin University Gospel Hospital between October 2011 and March 2012 were included in this retrospective study. All tumor samples were examined for HER2 expression by immunohistochemistry. A retrospective review of the medical records was conducted to determine the correlation between the presence of HER2 overexpression and clinicopathological factors. RESULTS: The HER2+ rate was 15.1%. HER2 overexpression was associated with histological grade (P=0.044) and Lauren classification (P=0.036). There was no significant difference in the 2-year overall survival between HER2+ and HER2- patients (P=0.396). Multivariate analysis showed that HER2 was not an independent prognostic factor. CONCLUSIONS: HER2 overexpression in tumors was associated with histological grade and Lauren classification in gastric cancer patients with curative resection. However, HER2 was not an independent prognostic factor for gastric cancer in our study.