Survivin is a bifunctional protein which regulates cell division and inhibits apoptosis. Survivin is a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family. Expression of survivin has been shown to be responsible for apoptosis and resistance to ionizing radiation. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between -31 G/C promoter polymorphism, survivin protein and glial tumour grading, and to compare survivin versus Ki-67 as a marker. In this study, DNA was isolated from paraffin-embedded sections of 29 patients diagnosed with glial tumours. Survivin gene promoter -31 G/C polymorphism was investigated using PCR-RFLP. For the analysis, 10 mu m sections were stained with survivin protein and Ki-67 antibody. Immunohistochemical staining was performed. Survivin showed a positive correlation with Ki-67 (r = 0.604; p = 0.001). The tumour grades correlated with survivin; however, the relationship was not statistically significant (r = 0.345; p > 0.05). We found a significant correlation between tumour grades and Ki-67 (r = 0.663; p < 0.01), suggesting that Ki-67 is a more sensitive marker compared to survivin.