The aim of this study was to determine whether malignant and normal human gastric tissues can be distinguished by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Compared with normal tissue, malignant tissues showed significant increases in infrared (IR) absorption in 10 bands lying in a region of 925-1660 cm(-1). Using the 10 IR absorption bands as markers, discriminant analysis was carried out for tissue discrimination. As a result, 22 out of the 23 gastric cancer samples and 9 out of the 12 gastric normal samples were correctly segregated, yielding 88.6% accuracy. The present results suggest that FTIR spectroscopy is a useful tool for screening gastric cancer.