Recurrence of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) following treatment is a common event and long-term follow-up of all patients presenting with a primary BCC has been recommended. Proliferation indices have been recognized as important prognostic factors in several tumour types in a variety of cancer systems, being significantly elevated in more aggressive lesions. We have examined 51 BCCs (17 non-recurrent tumours [group 1], 17 original tumours which later recurred [group 2-O], and the corresponding 17 recurrent specimens [group 2-R]) for Ki67 antigen expression, a proliferation-associated antigen using immunohistochemistry with the monoclonal antibody MIB1. There was a significant increase in the percentage positive for MIB1 in the Group 2-O as compared with the group 1 BCCs (P < 0.05). p53 protein expression, as assessed by immunohistochemistry with the monoclonal antibody DO7, was similar in each group. These results show that Ki67 antigen expression differs between BCCs which later recur and BCCs that do not recur.