Twelve instances of preoperative autologous blood donation were assessed in 10 patients with malignant tumors of the head and neck region. All patients received preoperative radiation therapy and chemotherapy and most of the cases were also given recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) and iron sulfate. Hemoglobin concentrations immediately before starting the 800ml blood donations were higher than 13g/dl in 5 cases and less than 13g/dl in 6 cases. The mean hemoglobin concentration just prior to donation and one week after donation in these two groups changed from 14.4g/dl to 12.5g/dl and 11.7g/dl to 11.7g/dl, respectively. A 1000ml blood donation was carried out in only one patient, and the hemoglobin concentrations just before donation and one week after donation were 11.4g/dl and 10.5g/dl, respectively. Only half of the blood volume scheduled, 400ml, was achieved in 3 of the 12 cases attempted because of fever, diarrhea and a change of the day of surgery, respectively. The mean estimated blood loss in the 10 patients that underwent surgery as planned was 898ml, and allogenic blood transfusion was avoided in all cases. We concluded that 800-1000ml preoperative autologous blood donation can be performed safely in patients with advanced malignant tumors of the head and neck region who have undergone preoperative radiation therapy and chemotherapy by giving EPO and iron sulfate.