CPT-11, 7-ethyl-10-[4-(1-piperidino)-1-piperidino]carbonyloxy camptothecin, is a well-known DNA topoisomerase I inhibitor. SN-38 is a metabolite of this compound. Both emit fluorescence when activated by a laser beam. With a confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM), we determined the intracellular distribution of CPT-11 and SN-38 and the chronological changes in drug-treated PC-7, a cell line of human non-small cell lung cancer, and its CPT-11 resistant variant, PC-7/CPT cells. There were many more granules in the cytoplasm in PC-7/CPT than in the parent cell line (PC-7). The granule formation of the resistant cell could indicate a different drug metabolism in the cytoplasm from that of the parent cell. This technique would provide a new way of investigating the mechanism of resistance of cancer cells to anticancer drugs.