The effect of hyperthermia on established human prostate carcinoma cell lines (PC-3, DU-145) and related sublines (1-LN, 125-1L) was investigated in vitro. Cells were exposed to heat treatment at 43C or 37C for varying time intervals, (one hr or two hrs) and cell survival was evaluated by the colony formation assay and by measurement of cellular growth rate. While one hr exposure at 43C did show a mean inhibition of colony formation, ranging from 29 to 41%, a statistically significant increase in inhibition rate (p < 0.001) was observed at two hr exposure, ranging from 57 to 92%. This study is a report of the cytotoxic effect of hyperthermia on established human prostatic tumor cell lines. These in vitro results indicate that hyperthermia may become a potentially useful form of adjunctive therapy for local control of prostatic cancer. However, the temperature and exposure time may have an important impact on cell kill when this new modality for cancer treatment is proposed for a clinical trial.