The cytochromes P450 have a central role in the oxidative activation and detoxification of a wide range of xenobiotics, including many carcinogens and several anti-cancer drugs. Thus the cytochrome P450 enzyme system has important roles in both tumour development and influencing the response of tumours to chemotherapy. Stomach cancer is one of the commonest tumours of the alimentary tract and environmental factors, including dietary factors, have been implicated in the development of this tumour. This type of tumour has a poor prognosis and responds poorly to current therapies. In this study, the presence and cellular localization of several major forms of P450, CYP1A, CYP2E1 and CYP3A have been investigated in stomach cancer and compared with their expression in normal stomach. There was enhanced expression of CYP1A and CYP3A in stomach cancer with CYP1A present in 51% and CYP3A present in 28% of cases. In contrast, no P450 was identified in normal stomach. The presence of CYP1A and CYP3A in stomach cancer provides further evidence for the enhanced expression of specific forms of cytochrome P450 in tumours and may be important therapeutically for the development of anti-cancer drugs that are activated by these forms of P450.