Abstract The nephrotic syndrome complicating malignancy in the absence of renal vein thrombosis, amyloid or neoplastic infiltration of the kidney is an unusual occurrence. A case of diffuse, well differentiated, lymphocytic lymphoma and lipoid nephrosis documented by light microscopy, electron microscopy and immunofluorescent studies is reported. A review of the literature revealed 76 case reports in which the nephrotic syndrome was associated with neoplasia. The most frequently associated neoplasms are Hodgkin's disease, various carcinomas, nonHodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia in descending order. The most frequent renal lesion in patients with the nephrotic syndrome associated with various carcinomas is membranous glomerulonephritis (81 per cent) as opposed to patients with lymphomas or leukemias who have predominantly lipoid nephrosis (60 per cent). The evidence is reviewed suggesting that the lesions in membranous nephropathy are immunologically mediated by tumor or viral antigen-antibody complexes and in lipoid nephrosis perhaps by a defect in T-lymphocyte function.