A series of 13 sporadic renal cell carcinomas was analyzed for the specific chromosome rearrangements after serial xenografting into immunodeficient mice. Seven tumors displayed genetic traits of the conventional subtype and 5 showed genetic features of the papillary subtype. In all the xenografted conventional tumors, we observed loss of 3p, as well as loss of the 9p21 region and of the long arm of chromosome 14, both considered as markers of a poor prognosis. In the xenografted papillary tumors, a duplication of chromosome arm 8q was observed concomitant with the duplication of the 7q31 region. The association of the 7q31 and 8q22 approximately qter duplicated regions was also observed for one conventional tumor. The latency of tumor take was found to be reduced and the median time to passage statistically shorter for all tumors which presented the associated duplication of the 7q31 and 8q22 approximately qter regions. The proto-oncogene NOV (nephroblastoma overexpressed gene) maps to 8q24.1 and is overexpressed in some Wilms tumors. It could be an interesting candidate gene, since its level of expression and release in the culture medium was found to be increased in all of the fast growing tumors analyzed.