The chromosomal aberration rate (including gap and break) and expression frequency of common fragile sites were examined in peripheral blood lymphocytes cultured with TC199 medium from 96 patients with lung cancers, 40 of their first-degree relatives, and 45 normal control subjects. Both the chromosomal aberration rates and expression frequencies of common fragile sites observed in patients and their relatives were significantly higher than those in normal control subjects. About 60% of chromosomal aberrations were derived from the expression of common fragile sites either in the patients and their relatives or in the controls. The expression of fra(3)(p14) was most frequently observed, and the mean frequencies of its expression in patients and their relatives were significantly higher than in control subjects. It is suggested that common fragile sites might be unstable factors of the human genome, and their expression might be affected by some genetic factors, and they might play an important role in the genetic susceptibility to lung cancers. The significantly high expression of fra(3)(p14) in patients and their relatives may be related to the generation of the breakpoint at band 3p14 found in lung cancers.