Among the various known therapeutic effects of Aloe vera (L.) Burm. fil., a few recent studies have shown that preparations of the plant leaves can prevent or regress the growth of certain tumours. In this study, undertaken with A. vera leaf pulp extract against Ehrlich ascites tumours in mice, the animals were separated into five groups: I - healthy control, If - tumour control, III - experiment 1 (extract given before tumour inoculation), IV - experiment 2 (extract given with tumour inoculation) and V - experiment 3 (extract given after tumour inoculation). Ehrlich ascites tumours (0.33 ml) were injected subcutaneously into groups II-V. Aloe extract was injected at 55 mg protein/kg, twice a week for 21 days. Tumour size, thymus and spleen weights were measured, as well as leucocyte count, tumour necrosis factor-a and sialic acid as tumour markers. The best inhibitory effect on tumour growth was obtained with the extract given prophylactically before tumour implantation (experiment 1), although Aloe extract also regressed tumour sizes when given simultaneously with (experiment 2), or therapeutically after (experiment 3), tumour implantation. Accordingly, serum sialic acid and tumour necrosis factor-alpha levels, chosen as tumour markers, which were raised in the tumour control group, were significantly decreased by the prophylactic administration of the extract. The increase in leucocyte count seen in experiment 1 and 2 groups, along with lymphoid hyperplasia observed in spleen and thymus necroscopy, lead us to think that the tumour preventive effect of Aloe could be due to its immunomodulatory activity. According to our results, A. vera could be proposed as a prophylactic for cancer prevention.