Deleted in colorectal carcinoma (DCC) gene has been as a candidate of tumor suppressor genes, has been identified recently and is thought to relate to the metastatic potential in some cancers. We examined the gene in 60 human gliomas (26 glioblastomas multiforme (GBMs), 16 anaplastic astrocytomas (AAs), 6 low grade astrocytomas (LGAs) of WHO Grade II, and 11 recurrent gliomas) and A172 human GBM cell line by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Twenty (77%) GBMs, 11 (69%) AAs, and 1 (17%) LGA revealed the reduced or absent DCC expression. Reduced DCC expression was also shown in 10 (91%) recurrent gliomas. Furthermore, in 5 cases with both primary and recurrent GBM, the DCC expressions of all recurrent tumors were lower than those of primary tumors. No significant correlation between DCC expression and Mib-1 labeling index was confirmed. The survival rate of patients without reduced DCC expression was significantly superior to that of patients with reduced DCC expression in overall malignant astrocytic tumors. In GBM and AA separately, DCC expression also tended to correlate with patient's prognosis. These results suggest that reduced DCC expression is an important marker in tumor malignancy and recurrence in astrocytic tumors and that may be a useful prognostic factor in patients with malignant astrocytic tumors.