The use of sustained-release microspheres is of potential benefit as an adjuvant treatment for patients with occult hepatic micrometastases. This study investigates the response of a model of implantable adenocarcinoma micrometastases in the livers of DA rats following the intraportal injection of doxorubicin-incorporated ion-exchange microspheres compared to free drug bolus administration. A point-counting technique was used to determine the percentage of liver consisting of tumour 13 days after treatment. This was used as an indicator of tumour response, as was the derived tumour mass. There was a significantly higher tumour response in animals treated with the microspheres compared to animals treated with free drug delivered at the same concentration. This effect, however, was shown to decrease with a delay in the time of treatment. The tumour response of the sustained-release microspheres was achieved in the absence of any detectable local or systemic toxicity. This study demonstrates the potential of sustained-release microspheres in the treatment of patients with hepatic micrometastases.