Using 2 anti-mucin 1 (MUC1) monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), DF3 and BCP8, we examined MUC1 expression immunohistochemically in 192 esophageal squamous-cell carcinomas (SCCs). In normal squamous epithelium of the esophagus, DF3 was not expressed, but BCP8 was expressed on the cell membrane, mainly in the surface layer. In esophageal SCCs, DF3 and BCP8 were expressed mainly on the cell membrane of SCC cells, but also in the cytoplasm in several cases. To analyze the correlation of MUC1 expression and the prognosis of the patients, the 192 cases were divided into 2 groups: high-expression group (HEG, > 50% of the neoplastic cells stained) and low-expression group (LEG, < 50% of neoplastic cells stained). DF3-HEG (24 patients) showed a significantly poorer survival rate than DF3-LEG (168 patients), whereas there was no significant difference in survival between BCP8-HEG (43 patients) and BCP8-LEG (149 patients). Also, in the analysis of 162 patients with advanced stage (submucosal or deeper invasion) to exclude the influence of low expression of DF3 and BCP8 in 30 patients with early stage (up to the level of muscularis mucosae), DF3-HEG (24 patients) showed significantly poorer survival than DF3-LEG (138 patients), whereas there was no significant difference in survival between BCP8-HEG (42 patients) and BCP8-LEG (120 patients). The results of our study on esophageal SCC suggest that the expression of sialyl oligosaccharides detected by DF3 is related to poor prognosis.