Laboratory and clinical data suggest some interactions between cytotoxic agents and tamoxifen. The mechanisms of these interactions differ in estrogen-receptor-negative cell lines. The ability of tamoxifen to modify the effects of epirubicin on the cell-cycle phases of estrogen-receptor-negative Ehrlich's carcinoma ascitic cells (EATC) was studied in mice. The results showed that combination of tamoxifen with epirubicin decreased the thymidine labelling index more effectively than did either drug alone. Adding tamoxifen to epirubicin treatment induced both an early S-phase and G2-M-phase arrest and a later G0-G1-phase arrest in EATC. An increase of SO cells in the quiescent fraction could play a role in these changes, and some of these quiescent cells may not be viable, causing them to die later. In conclusion, the data suggest that continuous exposure to tamoxifen might modify the effects of epirubicin via cell-cycle perturbations.