The expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R), c-erbB-2 protein product and Ki67 have been evaluated in 105 breast cancers of known responsiveness to endocrine therapy using immunohistochemistry. EGF-R staining was observed in 62 of the tumours and was significantly associated with elevated rates of cell proliferation (%Ki67 positive cells) and loss of hormone sensitivity. In contrast, c-erbB-2 expression was not correlated with cell proliferation rates and was less strongly related to hormone insensitivity. Subdivision of the EGF-R data according to c-erbB-2 measurements revealed an association between c-erbB-2 immunostaining and worsened patient outlook and hormone insensitivity in moderately EGF-R-positive tumours. c-erbB-2 immunostaining in highly EGF-R-positive tumours did not further contribute to the already poor prognosis of these patients. These data confirm the prognostic importance of EGF-R measurements in breast cancer and may infer a functional interaction between this protein and the c-erbB-2 protein product in the aberrant growth of a subset of breast tumours.