The Childrens Cancer Study Group evaluated daily oral 13-cis-retinoic acid to determine its therapeutic efficacy in 28 children with advanced neuroblastoma refractory to conventional therapy. Cheilitis and fissured lips were the most common side effects; however, fewer than 50% of the patients experienced any toxicity. Two of twenty-two evaluable children demonstrated positive response to therapy. In one case, a child received the drug for 11 months. Seventeen patients demonstrated progressive disease within 28 days of the start of treatment. Three other patients with stable disease, or removed from study at day 28, were considered nonresponsive. Our data demonstrate that, when given as a single daily oral dose of 100 mg/m2, 13-cis-retinoic acid does not have significant activity in children with advanced neuroblastoma.