Serum prostatic acid phosphatase and prostate-specific antigen have been measured in a group of 106 cases of newly diagnosed prostate cancer. The serum levels of the tumour markers have been correlated with the clinical and ultrasound staging of the prostate cancer at diagnosis. All patients were managed by a deferred treatment policy. Patients without detectable metastases at presentation have been assessed after a period of 2 years to determine if the level of serum tumour markers at diagnosis could predict subsequent disease progression. The study has demonstrated that a combination of immunologically measured acid phosphatase and prostate-specific antigen is the best method of assessing the prognosis of an individual prostate cancer at the time of presentation.