Ovarian cancer is the most frequent cause of death from gynaecological malignancies world wide. Little improvement has been made in the long-term outcome of this disease, with the 5-year survival of patients only 30%. This poor prognosis is due to the late presentation of the disease and to the unpredictable response of ovarian cancer to chemotherapy. The cytochrome P450 enzymes are a superfamily of haemoproteins, known to be involved in the metabolic activation and/or detoxification of a number of anti-cancer drugs. CYP1B1 is a tumour-related form of cytochrome P450 which is over expressed in a wide variety of primary tumours of different histological type. The presence of CYP1B1 may be of importance in the modulation of these tumours to anti-cancer drugs. We have conducted a comprehensive immunohistochemical investigation, into the presence of cytochrome P450 CYP1B1 in primary and metastatic ovarian cancer. The key findings of this study are the increased expression of CYP1B1 in the majority of ovarian cancers investigated (92%), with a strong correlation demonstrated between CYP1B1 expression in both primary and metastatic ovarian cancer (P = 0.005 Spearman's rank correlation test). In contrast no detectable CYP1B1 was found in normal ovary.