Overrepresentation of 12p-sequences, mostly due to isochromosome formation, is the only consistent chromosomal alteration found in invasive testicular germ cell tumors of adolescents and young adults (TGCTs), both seminomas and the various histological elements of nonseminomas. The biological role of extra 12p in the pathogenesis of this cancer is unclear, and it is also unknown so far, whether it is an early event, i.e., already present in carcinoma in situ, or related to invasive growth. Using comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) with DOP-PCR amplified DNA isolated from micro-dissected tumor cells, and double fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) on frozen tissue sections, we investigated the presence of overrepresentation of 12p sequences in different development stages of four seminomas and seven nonseminomas, in total 17 invasive components, in addition to the carcinoma in situ of each. CGH demonstrated relative gain of 12p-sequences in all invasive components except one, confirmed by FISH in most samples. In contrast, no gain was found in the carcinoma in situ samples by any of the methods. These findings show that overrepresentation of 12p is not an early event in the development of TGCTs, but relates to invasive growth.