AIM To investigate the relationship of fragile histidine triad (FHIT) and Ki-67 expression with clinicopathological variables of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). METHODS Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections of 30 asbestos induced MPM (epithelial and biphasic) patients were examined for FHIT and Ki-67 expression using immunohistochemical techniques and results were compared with clinicopathological variables. RESULTS Immunohistochemical study results were as follows: 12 (40%) cases showed low FHIT expression and 18 (60%) showed high expression. There was no significant relationship between FHIT and age, gender or histological subtypes (p > 0.05). Ki-67 expression was 'low' in 13 (43.3%) cases and 'high' in 17 (56.7%) cases. No correlation could be demonstrated between Ki-67 expression and age, gender or histological subtypes (p > 0.05). No significant association was observed between FHIT and Ki-67 expression in MPM. CONCLUSION The results support the role of FHIT as a tumour suppressor gene in asbestos induced MPM. There is no significant correlation between FHIT and cell proliferation marker expressions in malignant pleural mesothelioma. Therefore, it can be concluded that loss of FHIT does not interfere with tumour proliferation. This can be accepted as evidence for an early role of FHIT loss in carcinogenesis; however, it needs to be strengthened by further studies.