Following mastectomy, patients with operable breast cancer underwent postoperative irradiation of the chest wall and regional lymph nodes. They were then assigned at random to receive no further therapy, ovarian irradiation (2000 rads in 5 days) or ovarian irradiation in the same dosage plus prednisone, 7.5 mg daily. A total of 705 patients received the randomly assigned treatment and were followed for up to 10 years. In premenopausal patients who received ovarian irradiation the recurrence of breast cancer was delayed and survival prolonged, but not significantly. In premenopausal women aged 45 years or more ovarian irradiation plus prednisone therapy significantly delayed the recurrence of breast cancer (P = 0.02) and prolonged survival (P = 0.02); the survival expectancy of these patients was similar to that of the general population of the same age from the third year after the cancer operation. No value was demonstrated for ovarian irradiation with or without prednisone therapy in postmenopausal patients.