The ectodomain of the plasma membrane ectoenzyme CD38 functions as both an NAD glycohydrolase and an ADP-ribosyl cyclase by catalyzing, respectively, the conversion of NAD to nicotinamide and ADP-ribose or cyclic ADP-ribose. CD38 is attracting particular attention in cancer therapy. An anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody (daratumumab) was approved for treatment of patients with multiple myeloma. However, the role of CD38 in non-hematological malignancies has not been explored. Previously, we reported that ADP-ribose-acceptor hydrolase (ARH)-1 deficiency in mice was associated with tumor development. In the present study, we found that in wild-type and ARH1-deficient mice deletion of the CD38 gene reduced tumor formation. Significant reductions in tumor number were observed in lymphomas, adenocarcinomas and hemangio/ histolytic sarcomas. Consistent with a role for CD38 in tumorigenesis, CRISPR/Cas9-based knockout of CD38 in A549 human adenocarcinoma cells inhibited anchorage-independent cell growth, cell invasion and xenograft growth in nude mice. CD38 mRNA and protein expression were evaluated in human lung cancer cell lines and in human lung cancer specimens. CD38 overexpression in tumor cells was identified in 11 of 27 patient samples. In addition, some human lung cancer cell lines had dramatically higher CD38 mRNA and protein expression than normal cells. Consistent with these observations, search of the Oncomine database showed that some human lung adenocarcinomas had higher CD38 mRNA levels compared to normal lung tissues. In total, our data are consistent with the conclusion that CD38 plays a role in murine and human lung tumorigenesis and that anti-CD38 treatment may have therapeutic potential in lung cancer.