Fifteen patients with measurable metastatic transitional cell bladder cancer were treated with VP 16-213 100 mg/m2 IV daily for 4 days, repeated every 3 weeks. There were no complete or partial (greater than 50% reduction in area, maintained for 6 weeks) responses. Two patients showed transient reduction by 50% in the area of measurable lesions, and a further five patients showed brief stabilisation of previously progressive disease. The treatment was well tolerated. In two patients, total WBC at the nadir fell below 1.0 X 10(9)/l but without complications from infection. We conclude that VP 16-213 is inactive in metastatic transitional cell urothelial cancer.