Laryngeal cancer is a frequent malignancy originating from the squamous vocal epithelium in a multi-stage fashion in response to environmental carcinogens. Although most cases can be cured by surgery and/or radiotherapy, advanced and relapsing disease is common, and biomarkers of such dismal cases are urgently needed. The cancer genome of laryngeal cancers was recently shown to feature a signature of aberrant nuclear factor (NF)-kappa B activation, but this finding has not been clinically exploited. We analyzed primary tumor samples of 96 well-documented and longitudinally followed patients covering the whole spectrum of laryngeal neoplasia, including 21 patients with benign laryngeal diseases, 15 patients with dysplasia, 43 patients with early-stage carcinoma, and 17 patients with locally advanced carcinoma, for immunoreactivity of RelA, RelB, P50, and P52/P100, the main NF-kappa B subunits that activate transcription. Results were cross-examined with indices of tumor progression and survival. Interestingly, RelB expression increased with tumor stage, grade, and local extent. Moreover, patients displaying high RelB immunoreactivity exhibited statistically significantly poorer survival compared with patients featuring low levels of RelB expression (P = 0.018 by log-rank test). Using Cox regression analyses and tumor stage, local extent, grade and RelA/RelB immunoreactivity, we develop a new score that can independently predict survival of patients with laryngeal cancer. Hence we provide a simple and affordable NF-kappa B-based test to predict prognosis in laryngeal cancer.