A simple procedure for long-term storage of cells for flow cytometric DNA analysis was developed and tested. The cells were stored as single cells or fine-needle aspirates suspended in a citrate buffer with dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), or as small blocks of tissue from solid tumors. The cells were stored for up to one year by freezing at -80 degrees C. Statistical analysis of the results showed no change in the fractions of cells in the cell cycle phases as determined by deconvolution of the DNA-histograms. It was found that in addition to the intrinsic sample variation from the parameter estimation by deconvolution, there was significant intraday and interday variation. Hence the most accurate results are obtained if different aliquots of a sample are measured on different days rather than on the same day. Use of the storage method thus has the potential of increasing the accuracy of the analysis. The storage method makes sample collection independent of immediate subsequent analysis. This has enabled us to perform large internally controlled experiments, involving more samples than can be analyzed in one day, to examine tumor samples from different hospitals and to utilize fully the capacity of our flow cytometer. The method was a prerequisite for developing an accurate standardization procedure for DNA content determination.