The growth characteristics of 6 human colorectal tumours have been examined during serial passage in both male and female immune-deprived mice. Exponential growth is a characteristic feature, especially on very early passages. Growth rates in 5 out of the 6 tumour lines increase during the first few transplant generations. This is accompanied by a shorter exponential growth phase and an increased slope of the growth curves. Lag phases and growth rates for individual tumours are variable within a passage. Growth rates for tumours maintained within the same host are similar, and are at least partially influenced by the host. In one tumour line examined in detail, the increased growth rate is attributable to a decreased cell-loss factor, and the difference in growth rate between human colorectal tumours and their corresponding xenografts may therefore largely be due to a difference in the contribution of this factor.