Several important new agents are effecting the management of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and multiple myeloma. The two selected for review in this article include a biologic-response modifier and a new chemotherapeutic agent. The biologic-response modifiers offer entirely new approaches to these diseases. The most extensively tested agent currently has been recombinant alpha-interferon (alpha-IFN). The IFN are active, albeit weak, remission-induction agents for low-grade NHL and some T-cell lymphomas, but they appear to be ineffective as single agents in most intermediate-grade or high-grade NHL and myeloma. However, an emerging pattern in follicular lymphomas and myeloma is that alpha-IFN in combination with chemotherapy may lead to more complete and durable clinical responses and the increased prospect of prolonged disease control. Fludarabine, a new chemotherapeutic agent, is a promising drug with demonstrated activity in low-grade lymphomas that parallels its impressive activity in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.