The aim was to evaluate the activity of cisplatin and vinorelbine in previously untreated, inoperable patients having histologically verified malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), normal organ function, and performance status 0-2. Treatment was vinorelbine 25 mg m(-2) i.v. weekly and cisplatin 100 mg m(-2) i.v. every 4 weeks with hydration and standard prophylactic antiemetic treatment. Patients gave written informed consent. Characteristics of 54 consecutive patients were: males 85%, epithelial subtype 74%, IMIG stages III and IV 35 and 46%, performance status 0, 1, and 2, 26, 69, and 6%, and median age 63 years (31-78 years). CTC grade 3 or 4 toxicity occurred with respect to leukocytopenia (48% of patients, grade 4 in 13%), nausea (13%), neurotoxicity (11%), nephrotoxicity (4%), and other toxicities (9%). There were no toxic deaths. The median number of cycles was four. The fraction of patients alive at 1-, 2-, and 3-years were 61, 31, and 4%, respectively, and median survival and median time to progression were 16.8 months (0.5 to 46.4 +months) and 7.2 months (1.6 to 40.6 + months). There were two CRs and 14 PRs (response rate 29.6%). Cisplatin and intravenous vinorelbine is a highly active regimen in MPM with a response rate and survival comparable to the most active regimens so far reported.