Concentrations of bleomycin labeled with cobalt 57 (Co-bleo) over time were measured in vivo in 17 patients with 32 sites of lymphoma and 18 patients with lung tumors after administration of the same dose of bleomycin. There were marked variations in individual tumor drug concentrations even among tumors with the same histologic type, indicating that the tumor concentration of this drug in individuals cannot be predicted from the administered dose. Also, tumor concentration could not be predicted from the area under the concentration over time curve (AUC) of Co-bleo in the blood; there was no correlation (r = 0.53) between the AUC and the concentration in the tumor at any point in time between 30 minutes and 8 hours after injection. There was no significant difference in the percent of the injected dose per milliliter (%ID/ml) which was delivered to the tumor when low and high amounts of bleomycin were administered to the same patient. Also, a good correlation (r = 0.88) between the %ID/ml over time was found when injection of low and high doses of bleomycin were compared. The results indicate that using quantitative single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and a labeled tracer dose it is possible to predict what fraction of the dose of a chemotherapeutic drug will concentrate in an individual patient's tumor in vivo. They also show that, for bleomycin, escalation of dose will result in a proportional increase of tumor concentration. This increase depends on individual properties of tumors which can be measured quantitatively in vivo by SPECT and are expressed as percent of %ID/ml of tumor tissue.