Laser photoablation was undertaken in 46 patients (27 women and 19 men, mean age 81 [66-93] years) with malignant tumours of the colon, either for tumour bleeding (n = 7) or stenosis (n = 39), and in 27 patients combined with afterloading 192Ir irradiation. Operation had been refused by 14 patients, 22 were primarily inoperable, one received preoperative radiotherapy for ileus. The radiotherapy was inadequate in only one patient who had to be operated on for subileus. Eleven patients have had a mean survival time of 13.5 months, 22 died after a mean of 7.5 months. No patient died from ileus or any other complication of the palliative tumour treatment. These results suggest that combined laser and afterloading irradiation is an alternative treatment of malignant tumour of the lower intestinal tract or for patients who decline surgical treatment.