Epidemiological, histological and serological characteristics of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) were investigated. Included were 25 patients aged 10-70 with male to female ratio 2:1. Among 23 Jewish patients, 18 were of Asian-African (AA) and five of European (Eur) descent; two were Arabs (Ar). The dominant histological type among AA patients was undifferentiated carcinoma (UCNT) and among Eur squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Elevated IgG and IgA antibodies to Epstein-Barr (EBV) viral capsid, early and nuclear antigens were observed in patients, as compared to 34 healthy controls matched by age, sex and ethnic origin. Although not statistically significant, antibodies to EBV were elevated in AA, as compared to Eur patients. No significant differences in IgG and IgA antibodies to Herpes simplex, Cytomegalo and Varicella-zoster viruses were demonstrated among patients and controls. The study suggests that NPC in Israel, as elsewhere, is associated with EBV and genetic or environmental factors may influence the prevalence of NPC among certain ethnic groups.