We studied the mouse NC tumour, a subcutaneously transplanted adenocarcinoma originally of mammary origin. Measurements per g tissue were made of 17 fatty acids (FAs), the combined amounts of n-3, n-6, saturated, unsaturated, and total FAs, and of various FA ratios in the tumour, mammary tissue, spleen, liver and plasma. Compared with mammary tissue from normal mice, tumours of vehicle-treated controls had less of seven of the FAs and more of two FAs. Mice bearing the NC tumour often had changed (usually decreased) amounts of FAs in the 'normal' spleen, liver and plasma, but not in mammary tissue. Treatment with methotrexate (MTX) was studied alone and with indomethacin which can potentiate MTX cytotoxicity. Indomethacin 1.25 mg kg-1 (INDO) increased the amounts of 3/17 tumour FAs and the unsaturated FAs, but reduced 9/17 FAs, the saturated and the unsaturated FAs in 'normal' mammary tissue, and usually had no effect on the FAs of other tissues. MTX 2 or 4 mg kg-1 (MTX 2 or 4 mg) +/- INDO in general partly restored (increased) the amounts of tumour FAs, and reduced the saturated/unsaturated FA ratio. In the 'normal' spleen and plasma also, but not in the liver, MTX 2 mg generally somewhat restored the FA composition. However, as in the liver, the spleen 20:4 and 22:6 (which form prostaglandins and lipid peroxides) did not increase in the presence of INDO. With MTX 4 mg, some of the plasma and liver FAs decreased, in contrast to the tumour. There was generally no evidence of MTX potentiation by INDO. These results are discussed in relation to carcinogenesis, cachexia, and the response to treatment.