Growth kinetic data of human tumours, obtained by flow cytometric analysis of cells labelled with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdUrd) might provide prognostic information and allow prediction of response to radio- and chemotherapy. However, the theoretical models applied for calculation of growth kinetic data are not fully evaluated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the dependence of the estimation of DNA synthesis time (Ts) on sampling time after BrdUrd labelling, using four different mathematical formulas (Begg et al., White & Meistrich, White et al. and Johansson et al.) which have been developed for the evaluation of flow cytometry-derived data of BrdUrd-labelled cells. In addition, we have investigated the influence of the growth kinetic properties of the cell populations using two cultured cell lines (one slow and one fast growing), and two hetero-transplanted human tumours. The dependence of the estimation of Ts on sampling time was more or less pronounced, depending on the cell population examined and on the formula used. In the fast growing cell line, the estimates of Ts did not vary significantly with sampling time when using the formulas by White et al., whereas in the slow growing cell line, the estimates of Ts did not show any significant dependence on sampling time when using the formula by Johansson et al. In the tumours, the estimation of Ts depended on sampling time with all formulas used, although to different degrees. In one of the tumours, this was mainly caused by the influence of mouse cells, as we demonstrate. Our results indicate that the proliferative characteristics of a cell population should be taken into consideration when choosing a mathematical formula in order to attain Ts values that are independent of sampling time.