Intratumoral aromatase is a therapeutic target for the treatment of post-menopausal estrogen-dependent breast cancers. Therefore, reliable methods should be developed for routine application for the detection of intratumoral aromatase. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is considered one of the most suitable methods in this regard. A multi-centre collaborative group has been established to generate and validate new aromatase monoclonal antibodies. We have selected two monoclonal antibodies, #677 against native aromatase protein and F2 against formalin-fixed protein for this purpose. With these two monoclonal antibodies 43 cases of invasive ductal carcinoma, which had been previously assayed for aromatase activity by product isolation methodology, were immunostained in three laboratories in UK, USA and Japan and independently evaluated by three pathologists (H.S., T.A. and S.G.S.). Staining of malignant epithelium, adipose tissue, normal/benign and stromal compartments of the tumors were assessed by estimating the proportion of positive staining cells and the relative intensity of staining in this fashion. Immunoreactivity could be detected in each component of the tissue specimens but a significant positive correlation with biochemical activity was detected only in malignant epithelium stained with 677 not in other components with #677 and not in any of the components. Staining using F2 as a primary antibody did not produce a positive correlation in any components with aromatase activity. These results suggest that we now have a monoclonal antibody against aromatase (#677) which may be used to stain archival materials. A methodology and scoring system is recommended whereby staining significantly correlates with aromatase activity of the resected tissue specimens of breast cancer.