ICI 164384, a new steroidal antioestrogen, entirely devoid of oestrogenic activity, modulates doxorubicin resistance in vitro. At non-cytotoxic concentrations, ICI 164384 potentiated the cytotoxicity of doxorubicin in a dose-dependent manner in both the classical multi-drug resistant (MDR) human leukaemia cell lines CEM/VLB 100 and CEM/VLB 1000 and the human small cell lung cancer cell line H69 LX4. ICI 164384 had no effect on the two respective parental cell lines, CEM/CCRF and H69 P. None of these cell lines expressed the oestrogen receptor. In comparative studies at concentrations ranging from 1.25 to 10 μmol/l, ICI 164384 was significantly more effective (1.2-6-fold) than tamoxifen in reducing the IC50 of doxorubicin in the CEM/VLB 100 line. In resistant cells, ICI 164384 increased 3H-daunomycin accumulation in a dose-dependent manner and was significantly more effective than tamoxifen at concentrations ranging from 2.5 to 10 μmol/l. ICI 164384 reduced the efflux of daunomycin from resistant cells more effectively than tamoxifen. These studies suggest that ICI 164384 is an effective modulator of MDR.