The effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetylsalicylic acid (commonly known as aspirin), salicylic acid, piroxicam and indomethacin on the growth of rat glioma cells (RG 2) in vitro and aspirin in vivo was studied. The in vitro studies reveal that aspirin and salicylic acid strongly inhibit growth of rat glioma (RG 2) cells in concentrations used in medicine for treatment of rheumatic diseases. On the other hand, indomethacin and piroxicam had no effect, indicating that the inhibitory effect on tumor growth is not due to the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis. The synthesis of ATP was markedly reduced (34% of control) in the presence of drugs, whereas protein synthesis measured as 3H-leucine incorporation was slightly more inhibited (73% of control) than cell growth. Aspirin administered to Fischer 344 rats inhibited growth of RG 2 cells inoculated into the caudate nucleus in vivo, both when administered the day before inoculation of tumor cells and when tumors had formed, i.e. 5 days post inoculation.