The c-erbB-2 gene is overexpressed in about 20% of human breast cancers. Four hundred and eighty-three cases previously examined by immunohistochemical staining for c-erbB-2 expression were analysed to assess the risk associated with the elevated protein expression. Oncoprotein expression was correlated with increasing tumour grade but not with oestrogen receptor status, nodal involvement, tumour size or age. There was an increased risk of relapse and death associated with c-erbB-2 expression irrespective of nodal involvement. This marker thus appears to be a significant prognostic factor in the early as well as the late stages of breast cancer.