Listeriosis (LT) is an important infection in immunocompromised patients, but no large series of LT in cancer patients have been recently described. We reviewed the records of 34 cancer patients with LT at our institution (1990-2001). Twenty patients (59%) had an underlying hematologic malignancy. In 11 patients, LT complicated bone marrow transplantation. Lymphocytopenia was observed in 62% of the patients. Twenty-six patients (76%) received prior corticosteroids. Bacteremia was the most common presentation of LT (74%) followed by meningoencephalitis (21%). The most common treatment of LT was ampicillin with or without gentamicin (68%). The median duration of treatment was 26 days (range, 8-74 days). The rate of response to antimicrobial therapy was 79%. No relapses were identified. LT contributed to death in 9 (75%) of the 12 patients who died. Meningoencephalitis had the worst prognosis (3 of 6 cases were fatal). Treatment of central nervous system LT continues to have a high failure rate.