32 previously untreated patients with multiple myeloma received vincristine, doxorubicin ('Adriamycin'), and dexamethasone (VAD) as first-line therapy. The overall response rate was 84%, with 28% of all patients entering complete remission. Response was rapid, with near-maximum response occurring after two courses of treatment and rapid improvement in bone-marrow function. Median response duration was 18 months and this seemed to be unaffected by initial prognostic criteria or by degree of remission achieved. The projected median survival was 44 months, with 75% of all patients and 83% of responders being alive at 2 years. Side-effects due to steroids were common, but there was only 1 treatment-related death. The high response rate and lack of toxicity offer an advantage over other forms of initial treatment, although other strategies will be necessary to prolong the duration of response.