Fourteen patients with diffuse malignant pleural mesothelioma (DMPM) were enrolled in a Phase II study to assess activity and toxicity ofthe systemic administration of recombinant (r)-alpha-interferon (IFN)-2b. The IFN schedule was: 3 X 106 IU i.m. days 1–4. 6 X 106 III days 5–8. 10 X 106 IU days 9–12: then IFN was administered at 10 x I()6IU 3 days/ week. If grades II-III loxicity occurred. IFN dose was reduced and drug continued at the previous dose level. All patients were evaluated by CT scan. Only one patient was not evaluahle for response and toxicity because of inadequate follow-up. Of 13 evaluable patients, we observed I objective response. 6 stable disease, and 6 failures (3 progressive disease and 3 early interruptions due to subjective toxicity). The median time to progression was 19 weeks, and the median overall survival was 62 weeks. Toxicity was mild: of 13 patients evaluable for toxicity we observed fever (9 patients), flu-like syndrome (3 patients), fatigue (4 patients), anorexia (2 patients), myelosuppression (3 patients), and muscle pain (1 patient). The results of this study indicate only marginal activity of r-alpha-IFN in the treatment of DMPM.