We examined the inhibitory effect of an aqueous extract (referred to as KM-110) from Viscum album coloratum, a Korean mistletoe, on tumour metastasis produced by highly metastatic murine tumour cells, B16-BL6 melanoma, colon 26-M3.1 carcinoma and L5178Y-ML25 lymphoma cells, using experimental and spontaneous metastasis models in syngeneic mice. In experimental metastasis of B16-BL6 and colon 26-M3.1 cells, intravenous (i.v.) administration of KM-110 (100 micrograms/mouse) 1 day after tumour inoculation significantly inhibited lung metastasis of both tumour cells. The administration of KM-110 also exhibited a therapeutic effect on liver and spleen metastasis of L5178Y-ML25 lymphoma cells. Furthermore, in spontaneous metastasis of B16-BL6 melanoma cells, multiple administration of KM-110 into tumour-bearing mice resulted in significant inhibition of lung metastasis by tumour cells, as well as the suppressive activity to the growth of primary tumour. In in vivo analysis for tumour-induced angiogenesis, the i.v. administration of KM-110 suppressed tumour growth and inhibited the number of blood vessels oriented towards the tumour mass. In a bioassay, the culture supernatant (KM-110-treated medium) of murine peritoneal macrophages that had been stimulated with KM-110 (1-10 micrograms/ml) for 30 min followed by 24 h incubation in fresh medium showed a strong tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) activity. In addition, KM-110-treated medium significantly inhibited the growth of in vitro cultures of rat lung endothelial (RLE) cells. These results suggested that the extract of Korean mistletoe inhibits tumour metastasis caused by haematogenous as well as non-haematogenous tumour cells, and that its antimetastatic effect results from the suppression of tumour growth and the inhibition of tumour-induced angiogenesis by inducing TNF-alpha.