Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) has been applied to detect recurrent chromosome alterations in 62 primary gastric carcinomas. Several nonrandom chromosomal changes, including gains of 8q (31 cases, 50%), 20q (29 cases, 47%) with a minimum gain region at 20q11. 2-q12, 13q (21 cases, 34%) with a minimum gain region at 13q22, and 3q (19 cases, 31%) were commonly observed. The regions most frequently lost included: 19p (23 cases, 37%), 17p (21 cases, 33%), and 1p (14 cases, 23%). High copy number gain (DNA sequence amplification) was detected in 6 cases. Amplification of 8q23-q24.2 and 20q11.2-q12 were observed in 3 cases. Gain of 20q and loss of 19p were confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization using corresponding bacterial artificial chromosomes (BAC) clones from those regions. The gain and loss of chromosomal regions identified in this study provide candidate regions involved in gastric tumorigenesis.