Cyclin E is a critical regulator in cell cycle and promotes the initiation of DNA replication and centrosome duplication in late G1. The overexpression of cyclin E is common in cancers of the digestive system. However, whether cyclin E represents a prognostic biomarker in gastrointestinal cancer remains controversial. We reviewed the published literatures to clarify the association between cyclin E determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and survival in gastrointestinal cancer. Literatures were searched in PubMed and Cochrane Library published up to December 1, 2014. A total of 282 articles were initially identified, and 14 articles were included in this study. Meta-analysis was performed for 10 studies with a total of 1300 patients. Combined hazard risk (HR) and corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated by random-effect model due to the heterogeneity. The quality of included studies was assessed by the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and the Methodological Index for Non-Randomized Studies (MINORS). We found that high level of cyclin E was a predicator of poor prognosis among patients with gastrointestinal cancer (HR = 1.67, 95% CI = 1.06-2.63, P = .028). In summary, overexpression of cyclin E is associated with poor prognosis in gastrointestinal cancer and expression of cyclin E determined by IHC might be a prognostic marker for gastrointestinal cancer in clinical practice.