The E-cadherin/catenin complex plays an essential role in maintaining intimate intercellular associations and is considered to be involved in tumor metastasis and suppressing invasion by cancer cells. We have analyzed the expression of E-cadherin/catenin complex in a series of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) specimens using immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting. Data are correlated with the patients' clinicopathological parameters, including the clinical stage, presence of intracranial invasion, presence of lymph node or distant metastasis, and histological grading. The E-cadherin/catenin complex is down-expressed in most of the samples examined. Correlation with clinicopathological parameters shows that expression of alpha- and beta-catenin is associated with the occurrence of intracranial invasion.