Estrogen and progesterone receptors (ER/PR) were measured in primary tumors and metastases of 397 breast cancer patients. Survival following mastectomy was significantly longer in patients with ER and PR positive tumors, as was survival after first recurrence. The prognostic value of ER and PR was compared with such clinical factors as disease-free interval (DFI) and the dominant site of first metastasis by Cox's regression analysis. With all the different therapy modalities long DFI was the best prognostic indicator. However, in the patient group treated with endocrine therapy, ER and PR positivity was the best prognostic indicator, suggesting that longer survival in receptor positive patients was related to the response to endocrine treatment.