Purpose S100A4, a multifunctional protein, has been linked to the invasive growth and metastases of several human cancers. This study investigated the association between S100A4 and overall survival and other clinicopathological features in patients with stage C colonic cancer. Methods Clinical and pathological data were obtained from a prospective hospital registry of 409 patients who had a resection for stage C colonic cancer. Tissue microarrays for immunohistochemistry were constructed from archived tissue. S100A4 staining intensity and percentage of stained cells were assessed in nuclei and cytoplasm for both the central part of the tumour and at the advancing front. Overall survival was analysed by the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression. Results Only a high percentage of cells with S100A4 cytoplasmic staining in frontal tissue was associated with poor survival (hazard ratio, 1.6; 95 % CI 1.1-2.2; p00.008) after adjustment for other prognostic variables. There was no association between frontal cytoplasmic S100A4 expression and any of 13 other clinicopathological variables. Conclusions High expression of S100A4 in cytoplasm at the advancing front of stage C colonic tumours indicates a poor prognosis. Whether S100A4 can predict response to adjuvant chemotherapy remains to be investigated in a randomised clinical trial.