We reviewed retrospectively 97 patients treated with cisplatin, cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin chemotherapy at our hospital to evaluate predictive variables for response to chemotherapy and long-term survival free of disease. Histological subtype influenced response: 70 per cent of the patients with pure transitional cell carcinoma achieved an objective response (partial remission 31 per cent and complete remission 39 per cent), whereas 45 per cent of those with mixed tumors achieved response (partial remission 20 per cent and complete remission 25 per cent). Patients with nodal metastases only had an equal over-all response rate to those with visceral metastasis (64 versus 62 per cent) but patients with nodal metastases had a higher complete remission rate (45 versus 20 per cent). A total of 35 patients (36 per cent) achieved a complete response. In 17 of the 35 patients the duration of response was less than 100 weeks and 18 (51 per cent) have survived longer than 100 weeks. Of the 17 patients with a survival free of disease of less than 100 weeks 16 died of recurrent urothelial tumors and 1 died of a second primary tumor. Among the patients with a survival free of disease of longer than 100 weeks only 2 have had recurrent urothelial tumors; 72 per cent of the patients in this category remain free of disease. Patients with pure transitional cell carcinoma were represented in equal frequency among patients achieving a durable complete remission and those with a complete remission of less than 100 weeks. These data demonstrate the ability of cisplatin, cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin combination chemotherapy to achieve a complete remission and long-term survival free of disease among select patients with unresectable urothelial tumors.