Cell proliferation was assessed in brain tumours using the monoclonal antibody Ki67 which recognizes a nuclear antigen expressed by proliferating cells. Using a novel stereotactic biopsy procedure, serial 1 cm biopsies were taken along a trajectory through six malignant brain tumours. Specimens were also obtained from 10 other brain tumours during conventional surgery. The percentage of Ki67 positive cells was determined as a fraction of the total number of tumour cells present. The Ki67 index for anaplastic astrocytomas and glioblastomas was significantly higher (Ki67 index range 11-18%) than that for benign or low grade tumours. Significant variation in proliferation was measured along the biopsy track through individual tumours (e.g. 0-12.3%) which correlated well with histological appearance. The Ki67 indices of normal brain were very low. In general the Ki67 indices increased with increasing histological grade and also appear to be a useful indicator of the active tumour volume and margin. This method provides spatial information about tumour proliferation which may be used to decide between different treatments and relate to prognosis.