The pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of M1-M4 were compared after intravenous (i.v.) administration of DA-125, 25 mg kg-1, to BDF1 mice (n = 5 at each sampling time) and subcutaneously implanted Lewis-lung-carcinoma-bearing BDF1 mice (n = 10 at each sampling time. The mean plasma concentrations of M1-M4 were not significantly different between the two groups of mice, and hence similar pharmacokinetic parameters for M1-M4 were obtained. The amount of M1 in the lung was significantly greater in the tumour-bearing mice than in the control mice, resulting in a greater AUAt in the tumour-bearing mice (18,600 against 8940 micrograms min g-1), and vice versa in the liver (962 against 3840 micrograms min g-1). However, the corresponding values for other tissues were comparable between the control and tumour-bearing mice. The amount of M1 was greatest in the lung for up to 2 h in the tumour-bearing mice. M2 was the predominant metabolite among M1-M4 excreted in 24 h urine by both groups of mice; 8.36 and 10.7% of the i.v. dose were excreted in 24 h urine as M2--expressed in terms of DA-125--by the control and tumour-bearing mice, respectively. The amount of M1 in the tumour mass reached a mean Cmax of 3.75 micrograms g-1 immediately after i.v. administration of DA-125 to the tumour-bearing mice, then declined very slowly to an amount that remained almost constant for up to 24 h. This suggested that M1 has high affinity for the subcutaneously implanted Lewis lung carcinoma. The antitumour activity, such as the increase in life span (ILS) and tumour growth inhibition (TGI) of DA-125, 6-48 mg kg-1, and adriamycin (ADM), 3-18 mg kg-1, were also compared in subcutaneously implanted Lewis-lung-carcinoma-bearing BDF1 mice after four weekly i.v. administration of the drugs on days 1,8,15, and 22 following tumour implantation. More than three out of six mice survived as tumour-free for longer than 70 d at a DA-125 dose range of 6-24 mg kg-1, but there were no tumour-free mice at any dose of ADM. Assuming ILS values higher than 30% to be effective, DA-125 doses ranging from 6 to 24 mg kg-1 were effective in increasing the life span, which ADM does only within the dose range of 6-12 mg kg-1.