The expression of HLA class I antigens was studied in 99 primary tumour (colorectal, gastric and laryngeal carcinomas) and 57 autologous metastases using immunohistological techniques and monoclonal antibodies against class I monomorphic determinants, HLA-B isotypic determinants and HLA polymorphic determinants. Fourteen per cent of colorectal, 9.6% of gastric and 20% of laryngeal carcinomas completely lacked class I molecules. Selective losses of HLA-B antigens were also detected in 8.8, 3.4 and 5.8% of these tumours respectively. Taking into account complete and selective loss of HLA-B the average alteration in the class I molecules expression totalled 21%. The comparison of class I expression between primary tumours and autologous metastases showed differences in 24% of the patients. These differences consisted mainly in a decrease of class I expression by metastases. Nevertheless, four types of divergence were detected in laryngeal carcinomas, namely: +/-, +/+, -/+, -/-. In addition, a clear correlation between degree of differentiation and class I expression was observed in laryngeal tumours. Finally, when class I gene RFLPs were compared with DNA from 15 tumours and autologous normal mucosa or peripheral lymphocytes, no differences were detected between these samples.