Mutations in CDKN2A have been found in sporadic cutaneous malignant (CMM), in familial CMM and in other syndromes associated with melanoma. In this study DNA was obtained from 207 individuals and five cell lines. There were 157 CMM patients and 50 healthy members of melanoma patients families. The CMM group included patients with one or two melanoma cases in the family, families with dysplastic nevus syndrom (DNS) and patients with a spectrum of other types of cancers in the family. PCR-SSCP analysis and sequencing identified: six substitutions in codon 58 CGA/TGA (Arg/Stop), 16 substitutions GAC/GAT in codon 84 (Asp/Asp), six substitutions CGA/TGA in codon 148 (Arg/Thr), 14 substitutions G/C in 3'UTR and 4 double changes (two in codon 84 and 3'UTR; two in codon 148 and 3'UTR). The mutation identified in codon 58 was found in tissue only. Other substitutions were polymorphisms found in DNA from tissue and blood samples. Most of them were identified in sporadic CMM (six in codon 148 Ala/Thr, 12 in codon 84 Asp/Asp and six in 3'UTR). The frequency of the polymorphisms was also high in DNS and CMM/DNS families (four in codon 84 Asp/Asp and six in 3'UTR). No mutations or polymorphisms were found in CMM patients with one or two melanoma cases and CMM patients, with other cancers in family history. The analysis of the CDKN2A gene mutations in the Polish population demonstrated: (i) no germline mutations; (ii) a relatively high number of genetic changes in sporadic melanoma; (iii) a high number of polymorphisms in DNS and CMM/DNS families.