One hundred and fifteen gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) patients with malignant endocrine tumours entered a prospective multicentre trial (12 patients with gastrinoma, 53 with carcinoid syndrome, 45 with nonfunctioning tumours and 5 with other endocrine GEP tumours) to determine the efficacy of 200 micrograms Sandostatin t.i.d. in the control of tumour growth. This interim report describes the results in 85 patients. Thirty-four patients died, 14 before and 20 after the first follow-up investigation, indicating a 'negative' selection of patients included in the trial and suggesting that Sandostatin is unable to prevent disease progression when it is far advanced. In the evaluation of 68 patients followed up for at least 3 months, partial regression was observed in 4.4%, stable disease in 50% and tumour progression in 45%. An initially favourable response occurred frequently, however, it was followed by a decrease in response, from 54.4% at 3 months to 38% at 12 months, for the whole group of patients. Proven inhibition of tumour growth was mirrored by suppression of serum and urine hormone parameters. It is concluded that Sandostatin exerts a beneficial effect on tumour growth in patients with metastatic endocrine GEP tumours. This beneficial effect decreases with time and is as yet unpredictable in the individual patient.