The epidermal growth factor receptor is homologous to the oncogene erb-beta and is the receptor for a class of tumour growth factors (TGF-alpha). The clinical correlations with its expression were studied in 77 non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC). They were stained for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFr) by means of an indirect immunoperoxidase technique using a monoclonal antibody against the receptor. Normal lung tissue and normal bronchus were stained for comparison. Cancer tissue showed significantly increased staining compared to normal lung (P less than 0.05). Staining for EGFr in 40 squamous carcinomas was significantly stronger than in 37 specimens of other types of NSCLC (P less than 0.05), and staining in stage three NSCLC was stronger than in stage 1 and 2 (P less than 0.05). These results suggest that the presence of a high intensity of staining for EGF receptor is associated with spread of human non-small cell lung cancer and this receptor may be a suitable target for therapy.