Independent bilateral primary bronchial carcinomas are not common. Since Beyreuther's description in 1924, 16 well-documented cases of independent primary bronchial carcinomas of different histology have been described. From 1965 to 1970, eight cases were seen at the London Chest Hospital. In order to make the diagnosis of a second primary bronchial carcinoma, each tumour should be malignant and neither should be a metastasis from the other. To meet this last criterion, the histopathological features of the two tumours must be different. Many cases have been described in the literature as double primary bronchial carcinomas where the second primary had the same histological features as the first.