Post-initiation effects of phenylethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) and benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) on hepatocarcinogenesis and urinary bladder carcinogenesis were examined in rats pretreated with diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl)nitrosamine (BBN). Groups of 21 rats received a single intraperitoneal injection of 200 mg/kg body weight of DEN. Starting 2 days thereafter, they were administered 0.05% BBN in the drinking water for 4 weeks. Three days after completion of the carcinogen treatment, they were placed on a diet containing PEITC or BITC at a dose of 0.1%, or a basal diet alone for 32 weeks and then killed for autopsy. Further groups of 6 rats each were similarly treated with PEITC, BITC or basal diet alone for 32 weeks without prior DEN and BBN exposure. In the liver, although the incidences of liver tumors were not significantly affected, the multiplicity of foci larger than 0.5 cm in diameter was slightly increased by PEITC. In the urinary bladder, the incidences of papillary or nodular (PN) hyperplasias and carcinomas were significantly elevated by PEITC or BITC after DEN and BBN initiation. In the groups without initiation, PN hyperplasia was found in all rats of both PEITC and BITC groups, along with papillomas and carcinomas in some animals. Tumors and PN hyperplasias in the groups treated with PEITC and BITC are characterized by downward growth. Our results thus showed PEITC and BITC to be strong promoters of urinary bladder carcinogenesis with some complete carcinogenic potential.