DNA ploidy of pepsin digested preparations of 48 paraffin-embedded specimens from 19 patients with histologically confirmed malignant mesothelioma was determined by laser flow cytometry. Eight of the 19 tumors (42%) were diploid and 11 (58%) were aneuploid. Of the aneuploid tumors, only one showed multiploidy. The median survival time of the patients with diploid tumors was 19, 16, and 14 months from the onset of symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, respectively. The median survival in patients with aneuploid tumors was 8, 7, and 7 months from the onset of first symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Thus, patients with diploid tumors lived longer than patients with aneuploid tumors. These results suggest that DNA ploidy analysis may be of prognostic value in malignant mesothelioma.