A novel region of amplification in breast tumors was recently identified on chromosome 17q23. Extensive mapping of the amplicon by Southern blotting and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in breast cancer cell lines determined that the amplicon can be up to 4 Mbp in size and may contain 50 genes. Copy number analysis at 50-75 kb resolution in breast cancer cell lines and breast tumors identified several independently amplified regions within the amplicon, suggesting that a number of genes are selected for amplification because they independently contribute to tumor formation and progression. Support for this hypothesis comes from studies demonstrating that many of the amplified genes are over-expressed in breast cancer cell lines and tumors, and that the RPS6KB1, TBX2, and PPM1D genes from the region, that are amplified and over-expressed in breast tumors and cell lines, contribute to tumor formation and/or tumor progression. In this review we summarize the structural studies of the amplicon that have been carried out, we outline the evidence implicating the RPS6KB1, TBX2, and PPM1D genes as oncogenes, and we describe some of the other candidate oncogenes from the region.