Demographic studies in patients with skin cancer have demonstrated the importance of exposure to ultraviolet and x-ray irradiation. This paper describes in vitro studies in peripheral lymphocytes from three patients with the nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome. Particular stress was placed on the following factors: (1) the distribution of the lymphocyte subsets, (2) the frequency of spontaneous sister chromatid exchange, (3) the effect of ultraviolet C (UVC) (254 nm) on deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis, (4) the effect of UVC on the phytohemagglutinin-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation, and (5) the capacity to repair x-ray-induced DNA damage. Our data indicate that the distribution of the peripheral lymphocytes was normal, while the frequency of spontaneous sister chromatid exchange was high. The capacity of the lymphocytes to repair x-ray-induced DNA damage was low in all three patients. In two patients the UVC-induced DNA synthesis was reduced, while an increased UVC-induced inhibition of lymphocyte proliferation was observed. These cellular responses in vitro to ultraviolet and x-ray irradiation correspond to the clinical features of the nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome. A clearly defective in vitro cellular response to x-ray irradiation, reflecting the clinically evident x-ray sensitivity in the nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, has not been reported previously.