The CD19+ CD38+ human Burkitt's lymphoma cell line Ramos grows aggressively when injected intravenously (i.v.) into severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice, killing 100% of animals within a 33-42 day period with widely disseminated disease. Treatment commencing 7 days after i.v. injection of Ramos cells, with 3 doses of an anti-CD19 immunotoxin (IT; BU12-SAPORIN) or an anti-CD38IT (OKT10-SAPORIN) led to a significant prolongation of survival compared with sham-treated controls; the anti-CD38 IT gave the greatest prolongation of survival, but all treated animals eventually succumbed to disease. When both ITs were used in combination at equivalent dose levels, the therapeutic outcome was significantly improved over that obtained for single IT therapy, with 20% of animals surviving disease-free to 300 days. When anti-CD38 IT was given in combination with anti-CD19 antibody there was no therapeutic improvement over anti-CD38 IT used alone. However, when anti-CD19 IT was given in combination with CD38 antibody, a significant prolongation of survival ensued over that obtained with anti-CD19 IT alone, though this was not as significantly pronounced as that obtained when both ITs were used in combination and was only as good as the survival obtained with OKT10 antibody used alone. CD19 and CD38 are expressed on the surface of the vast majority of B-cell lymphoma and common acute lymphoblastic leukaemia cells, and our findings provide a sound rationale for a combination immunotoxin trial in these diseases directed against both these target molecules.