The vascular architecture of four different tumour cell lines (CaX, CaNT, SaS, HEC-1B) transplanted subcutaneously in mice was examined by means of microvascular corrosion casting in order to determine whether there is a characteristic vascular pattern for different tumour types and whether it differs significantly from two normal tissues, muscle and gut. Three-dimensional reconstructed scanning electron microscope images were used for quantitative measurements. Vessel diameters, intervessel and interbranch distances showed large differences between tumour types, whereas the branching angles were similar. In all tumours, the variability of the vessel diameters was significantly higher than in normal tissue. The quantitative data provide strong evidence for a characteristic vascular network determined by the tumour cells themselves.