RHI-betaG-PEG, formed by linking poly(ethylene glycol)-modified beta-glucuronidase to Mab RH1, was employed to examine bystander killing of antigen-negative N1S1 rat hepatoma cells by activation of a glucuronide prodrug (BHAMG) of p-hydroxyaniline mustard (pHAM) at antigen-positive AS-30D rat hepatoma cells. Sequential treatment of cells with 10 microg ml(-1) RH1-betaG-PEG and 20 microM BHAMG was not toxic to N1S1 cells but killed 99% of AS-30D cells. Over 98% of N1S1 cells, however, were killed in mixed populations containing as few as 2% AS-30D cells after identical treatment, demonstrating an in vitro bystander effect. Subcutaneous injection of AS-30D and N1S1 cells in BALB/c nu/nu mice produced solid tumours containing both cells. Uptake of radiolabelled RH1-betaG-PEG in solid AS-30D and mixed AS-30D/N1S1 tumours was 11.6 and 9.3 times greater than a control antibody conjugate 120 h after i.v. injection. Intravenous treatment with RH1-betaG-PEG and BHAMG cured seven of seven nude mice bearing solid s.c. AS-30D tumours and significantly delayed, compared with control conjugate and prodrug treatment, the growth of mixed N1S1/AS-30D tumours with one cure, showing that targeted activation of BHAMG kills bystander tumour cells in vivo.