In a cooperative randomized control study of immunotherapy with bestatin in combination with chemotherapy in adults with acute nonlymphocytic leukemia (ANLL), 101 patients (48 in the bestatin group and 53 in the control group) out of 115 patients registered were evaluated as eligible. The bestatin group achieved a statistically significant prolongation of survival compared with the control group in overall ANLL and acute myelogenous leukemia. In the analysis of patient age, the bestatin group achieved a statistically significant prolongation of both the remission duration and survival in patients aged 50 to 65 years, while the differences were not significant in the 15 to 49 age group. The bestatin group tended to achieve a higher rate of reinduction of remission in patients who had recurrence of leukemia. Side effects developed in only 5 (9.6%) of 52 patients treated with bestatin. None of these side effects were particularly serious in nature. It is concluded that bestatin is useful for prolongation of survival of adult patients with ANLL, making for a longer remission duration especially in elderly patients and with few side effects.