The mitotic index (MI) and cell proliferation kinetics (CPK) of human blood lymphocyte cultures were determined to evaluate the effects of six antineoplastic drugs with well known cytostatic activity: cisplatin, melphalan, bleomycin, methotrexate, 5-fluorouracil and 6-mercaptopurine. All six drugs showed a clear effect on the inhibition of MI. The first three drugs interact directly with DNA showing a dose-related retardation of CPK. Methotrexate, 5-fluorouracil and 6-mercaptopurine, which act on ribonucleotide biosynthesis, showed no significant effects on CPK. The results suggest that CPK and MI measurements are useful for the prescreening of drugs with potential cytostatic activity.