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The variability of the prognosis of gastric carcinoma drives extensive researches for novel prognostic markers. The aims of this study were to correlate the expression of protein kinase Ca (PKCa) mRNA with clinicopathological parameters and to evaluate the significant value of PKCa in gastric carcinoma prognosis.PKCa mRNA levels were analyzed in tumor/non-tumor pairs of gastric tissues from surgical specimens of 41 patients with gastric carcinoma employing quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Expression of PKCa in gastric carcinoma was also examined using immunohistochemistry.PKCa mRNA expression was significantly upregulated in gastric carcinoma (P = 0.007). Overexpression of PKCa mRNA was correlated with distant metastasis (P = 0.040). Patients with high PKCa mRNA expression had a significantly poorer overall survival compared with patients with low PKCa mRNA expression (P = 0.0113). The uni-variate Cox regression analysis showed that high PKCa mRNA expression (P = 0.0363) and depth of invasion (P = 0.0443) were two significant prognostic markers for gastric carcinoma. In backward stepwise multivariate analysis, PKCa mRNA overexpression was also proved to be an independent prognostic marker for gastric carcinoma (P = 0.0275).Our results suggest that overexpression of PKCa mRNA has correlation with distant metastasis and may be an independent prognostic marker for gastric carcinoma.