OBJECTIVE To define the role of interferon-γ on radiotherapy of lung cancer and explore a new way to clinical treatment. METHODS A549 cells were exposed to γ ray with or without IFN-γ co-treatment. MTT assay was performed to evaluate cell viability. Western blot was used to observe the expression of P53 protein. RESULTS The results showed that co-treatment of IFN-γ decreased the cell viability significantly compared with the γ ray irradiation group (71.4% ± 2.1% vs 44.1% ± 3.1%, n = 7, P < 0.01). In addition, the expression of P53 protein also increased significantly after co-treatment (P < 0.01); Furthermore, the cell cycle was changed obviously in co-treatment group compared with γ ray irradiation group, S phase increased (12.9% vs 20.9%, n = 5, P < 0.05) and also blocked the G2/M phase (28.8% vs 38.9%, n = 5, P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS The results suggested that γ ray irradiation combined with IFN-γ can increase the efficiency of radiotherapy on A549 cells and there is much broad prospect in the clinical treatment of lung cancer.