High resolution 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra using spinning at the magic angle (1H MAS NMR) have been obtained on intact normal and pathological kidney tissue samples from patients undergoing surgery for renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The spectra were measured on ca. 80 mg samples and provided high resolution 1H NMR spectra in which effects of dipolar couplings, chemical shift anisotropy and magnetic susceptibility differences are minimised thus yielding high spectral resolution. Conventional one-dimensional and spin-echo spectra and two-dimensional J-resolved, TOCSY and 1H-13C HMQC spectra were also measured on selected samples and these allowed the assignment of resonances of endogenous substances comprising both cytosolic and membrane components. The tumour tissues were characterised principally by an increased lipid content. These are the first reported results on human tumour tissues using this technique and the approach offers potential for the rapid classification of different types of tumour tissue.