The long arm of chromosome 11 has received much scrutiny as a high frequency of deletions of various sites has been observed in different tumour types, indicating the presence of putative tumour suppressor genes. In the present study, 81 primary cervical carcinomas were examined for allelic imbalance (AI) using nine microsatellite markers, mapping to the chromosomal region 11q23.1 where the ATM gene is located. AI at any locus in the region was found in 34 of 81 (42%) tumours. AI frequencies varied from 12 to 31% for the different markers used, with the highest frequency at marker D11S1294. Based on the findings of 17 cases with restricted areas of deletions, four chromosomal regions of possible importance in cervical carcinomas could be distinguished. The first region is located between the markers D11S1325 and D11S1819, the second region between D11S2179 and D11S1294, the third region between D11S1778 and D11S1818 and the fourth region between D11S1818 and D11S1347. The second region may thus contain part of the ATM gene. No association between AI of any marker and histopathological or clinical parameters was seen. When comparing the AI findings of the different loci with TP53 protein overexpression, the only significant association found was with D11S2179 located within the ATM gene. The results indicate that a tumour suppressor gene (or genes) on chromosome 11q.23.1 may be involved in carcinogenesis of the cervix and the involvement of the ATM gene remains a possibility.