Sixty-one patients with epidermoid carcinoma of the esophagus have been treated with a three drug combination of cisplatin, vindesine, and bleomycin. Of 53 patients currently evaluable for response, 29 (55%) have had partial remissions: 7/16 with metastatic, and 22/37 with local-regional disease. The median duration of response in metastatic patients is eight months. Of 28 patients treated preoperatively, 23 (82%) had resectable disease. The major toxicities seen were nephrotoxicity and myelosuppression. Cisplatin, vindesine and bleomycin is an effective combination in the treatment of esophageal carcinoma. Effects on long-term survival cannot yet be evaluated.