In 68 patients the DNA content of tumor cells was measured by image cytometry after resection of the rectum because of cancer. In the DNA histogram a differentiation between diploid (n = 19), polyploid (n = 24), hypotriploid (n = 17), and hypertriploid (n = 8) tumors was possible. The best relapse-free survival time was found in patients with diploid tumors. The prognosis worsened from polyploid to hypotriploid and was worse in hypertriploid tumors. Testing for a prognostic advantage of diploid over aneuploid tumors without adjustment for additional factors simply by means of the log-rank statistic gave a (one-sided) P of 0.1013. In a multivariate analysis the degree of differentiation turned out most important. Again, an appropriate test for prognostic relevance of DNA content failed to be significant (P = 0.3264).