Colorectal carcinomas are characterized by frequent recurrent gains and losses of chromosomal material, especially gains of chromosome arms 20q and 13q, and losses of chromosome arms 18q and 4q. These may be important in the development and progression of colorectal carcinomas. Chromosomal aberrations detected by comparative genomic hybridization in 67 sporadic colorectal carcinomas were examined for their possible associations with patient survival. Dukes' stage, tumor DNA ploidy status, and TP53 genotype/phenotype were also examined for the same. Patients with losses of chromosomal arms 1p, 4q, 8p, 14q, or 18q or gain of chromosomal arm 20q had significantly shorter survival times than those without these aberrations (univariate relative risk 3.45, 2.71, 3.32, 3.26, 3.32, 3.91, respectively), as did patients with more than six chromosomal aberrations per tumor than those with fewer than six aberrations (univariate relative risk 3.26, P = 0.013). DNA aneuploidy and Dukes' stage C + D resulted in poor patient survival (univariate relative risk 3.58, 3.39, respectively). Dukes' stage C + D, 1p loss and 8p loss emerged as the only independent prognostic parameters (relative risk 3.22, 2.53, 2.45, respectively) when entered into multivariate survival analysis together with other significant parameters from univariate survival analysis. Loss of chromosome arm 1p, 4q, 8p, 14q, or 18q or gain of chromosome arm 20q thus results in shortened survival times in colorectal cancer patients. 1p loss and 8p loss were shown to be independent predictors of poor prognosis.