The outlook for disseminated neuroblastoma (NB) continues to be dismal. NB is a radiosensitive tumour. Owing to its high concentration in NB lesions, [131I]meta-iodobenzylguanidine [131I]MIBG has the potential for specifically delivering very large radiation doses to the malignant cells. Encouraging results have been reported with [131I]MIBG used alone in patients resistant to conventional therapy and at diagnosis. We report the first attempt to explore the integration of this new treatment modality with chemotherapy. Among the drugs effective in NB, cisplatin was chosen because of its high degree of activity against NB, its mild haematological toxicity and the known synergism between cisplatin and radiation. 4 patients, 3 with relapsed, heavily pre-treated, progressive stage IV NB, and 1 with stage IV NB at diagnosis, all with a good [131I]MIBG uptake, were investigated with combined therapy (CO-TH). Two complete remissions and one partial remission were observed in these patients 4-6 weeks following only a single course of both cisplatin and [131I]MIBG at "standard" dosage. The only toxicity was haematological, which was significant and relatively long-lasting, but was not associated with any serious infections or bleeding tendency. The general condition of these patients during the entire study period was excellent. The fourth patient, investigated at diagnosis with a modified less intensive treatment, obtained a partial remission with mild haematological toxicity. During the subsequent courses of intensive multidrug chemotherapy, this patient showed haematological toxicity comparable with that experienced by patients treated with an identical drug combination, but without previous treatment with CO-TH. The provisional conclusion of this ongoing study is that this new form of CO-TH appears most effective in obtaining a rapid and excellent response in heavily pretreated relapsed patients with progressive disease, and should be further investigated in earlier stages of the disease.