The choice of adequate controls for reverse transcriptase (RT-) PCR analysis has been the focus of a debate pursued in Leukemia over the past 3 years. Twenty-six authors from 15 different centers contributed to the Debate, and the points presented have been carefully evaluated. This survey reviews the issues discussed, and presents current options for appropriate positive controls in RT-PCR assays which are based on the views shared by the majority of participants in the Debate. It is understood, however, that the recommendations presented cannot be regarded as definitive guidelines. They reflect the present state of knowledge, and certainly need to be revisited.