We determined the contribution from host hepatic and extrahepatic tissues to newly synthesized fatty acids (FA) in the Ehrlich ascites tumor (EAT). We administered 3H2O (subcutaneously) and [14C]glucose (in a test meal) and measured the appearance of radioactivity in plasma triglyceride fatty acids (TGFA) and free fatty acids (FFA) and in tumor total lipid fatty acids (TLFA). Using [14 C]FFA, we selectively labeled epididymal fat TGFA to estimate the FA transport rate from intraperitoneal adipose tissue directly to the tumor. Contributions of four major pathways to newly synthesized FA in EAT were determined by multicompartmental analysis. De novo FA synthesis by EAT accounted for more than 93% of the TLFA radioactivity found in the tumor. Contributions from liver TGFA via plasma TGFA (less than 0.5%), adipose tissue TGFA via plasma FFA (less than 6%), and adipose tissue TGFA via direct intraperitoneal transport of FFA (less than 1%) accounted for less than 7% of all TLFA radioactivity measured in the EAT. Thus the present study establishes that practically all labeled esterified FA in the EAT is derived from de novo synthesis by tumor cells.