Radiation resistance remains a significant problem for cancer patients, especially due to the time required to definitively determine treatment outcome. For fractionated radiation therapy, nearly 7 to 8 weeks can elapse before a tumor is deemed to be radiation-resistant. We used the optical redox ratio of FAD/(FAD+NADH) to identify early metabolic changes in radiation-resistant lung cancer cells. These radiation-resistant human A549 lung cancer cells were developed by exposing the parental A549 cells to repeated doses of radiation (2 Gy). Although there were no significant differences in the optical redox ratio between the parental and resistant cell lines prior to radiation, there was a significant decrease in the optical redox ratio of the radiation-resistant cells 24 h after a single radiation exposure (p=0.01). This change in the redox ratio was indicative of increased catabolism of glucose in the resistant cells after radiation and was associated with significantly greater protein content of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1α), a key promoter of glycolytic metabolism. Our results demonstrate that the optical redox ratio could provide a rapid method of determining radiation resistance status based on early metabolic changes in cancer cells.