Symptomatic brain metastases are found in about 40% of patients with small cell lung cancer.Cranial irradiation is the first line treatment for this form of metastatic disease. Frequently brain metastases recur after this treatment or develop after prophylactic cranial irradiation. For these patients no effective antitumour therapy is available. In this study the efficacy of high dose etoposide 1.5 gm-2 was evaluated. In 10 (43%) out of 23 evaluable patients a response was seen. Toxicity was severe with five aplasia-related deaths. For palliative purposes this regimen is too toxic in heavily pretreated patients.