Comparative allelotyping of the short arm of human chromosome 3 (3p) in four types of epithelial carcinomas was performed using an identical set of polymorphic markers. In total, 117 samples of non-papillary renal cell carcinoma (RCC), non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), carcinoma of uterine cervix (CC), and breast carcinoma (BC) were screened for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) with 10 di-, tri- and tetrameric markers covering nine bands of 3p. High LOH frequencies were detected in at least one locus: RCC (36/43, 84%), BC (20/26, 77%), NSCLC (16/24, 67%), and CC (15/24, 62%). Small interstitial deletions prevailed in BC and CC whereas large continuous and discontinuous deletions were mainly found in RCC and NSCLC. Different epithelial tumors displayed unique LOH profiles with partial overlaps in 3p26.1, 3p21.31, and 3p13. The overlap around D3S2409 (3p21.31) appeared common for RCC, BC and CC.