A monoclonal antibody (TAb 250) specific to an extracellular epitope of the c-erbB-2 protein (gp185) inhibited the in vitro proliferation of human breast tumor cell lines that overexpress c-erbB-2 in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment of cells with combinations of cis-diammedichloroplatinum (CDDP) and TAb 250 resulted in a significantly enhanced cytotoxic effect. This synergistic cytotoxicity was apparent over a wide range of antibody concentrations (200 pg/ml-100 µg/ml) including concentrations that showed no inhibitory effect alone. TAb 250 did not increase the cytotoxic effect of CDDP in a cell line exhibiting no detectable level of gp185. Athymic mice bearing s.c. xenografts of human tumor cells expressing high levels of gp185 showed a greatly enhanced inhibition of tumor growth when treated with TAb 250 and CDDP compared to treatment with the antibody or CDDP alone. This effect was specific inasmuch as TAb 250 did not enhance the growth-inhibitory effect of CDDP on tumor xenografts which were not expressing gp185.