Background The aim of this study was to investigate prognostic value of excision repair cross-complementing 1 (ERCC1), BCL2-associated athanogene (BAG-1), the breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1), ribonucleotide reductase subunit M1 (RRM1) and class III β-tubulin (TUBB3) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who received platinum- based adjuvant chemotherapy. Methods Messenger RNA expressions of these genes were examined in 85 tumor tissues and 34 adjacent tissue samples using semi-quantitative RT-PCR. The expressions of these five genes were analyzed in relation to chemotherapy and progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Seventy-four patients were enrolled into chemotherapy. Results Patients with ERCC1 or BAG-1 negative expression had a significantly longer PFS (P = 0.001 and P = 0.001) and OS (P = 0.001 and P = 0.001) than those with positive expression. Patients with negative ERCC1 and BAG-1 expression benefited more from platinum regimen (P = 0.001 and P = 0.002). Patients with BRCA1 negative expression might have a longer OS (P = 0.052), but not PFS (P = 0.088) than those with BRCA1 positive expression. A significant relationship was observed between the mRNA expression of ERCC1 and BAG-1 (P = 0.042). In multivariate analysis, ERCC1 and BAG-1 were significantly favorable factors for PFS (P = 0.018 and P = 0.017) and OS (P = 0.027 and P = 0.022). Conclusions ERCC1 and BAG-1 are determinants of survival after surgical treatment of NSCLC, and its mRNA expression in tumor tissues could be used to predict the prognosis of NSCLC treated by platinum.