The synthesis, spectroscopic characterization and in vitro antitumour activity of two triorganotin compounds, triphenyltin ortho-aminophenylthiolate (1) and triphenyltin 2-pyridylthiolate, compound (2) are reported. The structure of 1 is confirmed by X-ray diffraction, with the tin atom in a distorted tetrahedral geometry because of monodentate coordination, as a thiolate (Sn-S 2.431(2) Å), of the ortho-aminophenylthiolate ligand. The in vitro antitumour activities of 1 and 2, against a number of cell lines, are comparable to those exhibited by methotrexate and doxorubicin, and higher than those of carboplatin and cisplatin.