The expression of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and c-myc oncogene product was studied immunohistochemically in 65 benign and malignant human thyroids. Normal thyroid tissues were usually negative with each antibody. Benign and malignant neoplastic thyroid tissues demonstrated a high percentage of stained cells. However, there was no significant difference in positivity between benign and malignant neoplastic tissues. In Graves' disease 25% of the cases were positive for EGF, and 100% for c-myc product. The effect of EGF or c-myc expression on prognosis was also examined in 42 patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma. When the cases were divided into two groups with regard to their EGF staining score (highly-expressed and poorly-expressed groups), the frequency of highly-expressed tumours was significantly higher in the recurrence-positive group compared with the recurrence-free group (86% vs 57%), but there was no significant difference between the groups in respect of c-myc expression.