Two androstenedione derivatives, 10-propargylestr-4-ene-3,17-dione and its 17-propionated form, were administered to normal cycling rats, and both compounds led to an inhibition of ovarian aromatase. Under in vitro conditions, only the former compound exhibited high potency as an inhibitor of rat ovarian and human placental microsomal aromatase. At 1 mg/kg/day both compounds were effective in promoting regression of 9,10-dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene-induced mammary tumors in rats without terminating their estrous cycle. PED also inhibited growth of a human ovarian carcinoma in athymic mice. The results with the 17-propionated compound testify to the necessity of in vivo assays in screening antitumor agents. In summary, PED and its propionated derivative inhibited ovarian aromatase in vivo and inhibited the growth of hormone-responsive tumors.