From more than 500 tumours reported in human primary immune deficiencies a majority has been observed in two disorders: ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) and common variable immune deficiency (CVID). Since both diseases have an increased risk of lymphomas/leukaemias and gastrointestinal tumours, suggesting a common risk factor, and the cells derived from A-T patients exhibit an increased chromosomal radiosensitivity we analysed chromosome damage in the G2 lymphocytes of 24 CVID patients and 21 controls after X-irradiation in vitro. There was a significant difference in mean aberration yields between patients and controls. Three CVID patients had yields higher than the mean + 3SD of the controls. Six patients but only one control had yields higher than the mean + 2SD of controls. The patient with the highest chromosomal radiosensitivity subsequently developed a lymphoma. Repeat assays on the same blood sample, with a 24-h delay in setting up the second culture, showed as much variability for control donors as the variation between control donors although for CVID patients inter-individual variation was greater than the difference between results of repeat samples. There was a weak positive correlation between radiosensitivity and age of donor. Chromosomal radiosensitivity of five patients with X-linked hypogammaglobulinaemia was not different from healthy donors. The mean mitotic index (MI) for unirradiated samples from CVID patients was significantly lower than for controls and there was an inverse relationship between MI and aberration yields in the patients, but not in controls. We suggest that the defect in CVID patients that reduces response to mitogenic stimuli may have mechanism(s) in common with those involved in cellular repair processes.