Preliminary evidence suggests that genetic polymorphisms in certain enzymes involved in xenobiotic metabolism and chemical defense could modify a susceptibility to prostate cancer. In the present study, two recently described phenol sulphotransferase SULT1A1 alleles (SULT1A1*1, SULT1A1*2) were investigated using a polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) approach. Genotyping was performed on DNA isolated from white blood cells from 134 patients with prostate cancer and 184 healthy control subjects. Both the prostate cancer patients and the controls demonstrated similar frequencies of the variant allele SULT1A1*2 (35.1% vs 39.1%). Homozygosity for the variant allele was slightly less frequent in cancer patients than controls (12.7% vs 17.4%). Our study does not support the hypothesis that the phenol sulphotransferase variant allele SULT1A1*2 with a G/A transition at nucleotide 638 is a risk modifier for prostate cancer in the Caucasian population.