Coffee and caffeine consumption has been associated with ovarian cancer risk in several epidemiological studies. CYP1A2 is a key enzyme in the metabolism of coffee and in the activation of heterocyclic aromatic compounds that may be carcinogenic. Data from a preliminary investigation conducted in Hawaii of 164 epithelial ovarian cancer cases and 194 controls were used to examine the hypothesis that coffee and caffeine intake increases the risk of ovarian cancer and that these relations are modified by the CYP1A2 high-inducibility A/A genotype. A personal interview and blood specimen were collected in the subjects' homes. A significant positive trend (p = 0.02) in the odds ratios (ORs) was found with increasing intake of caffeine but not with tea or soda. Regular coffee drinkers were at significantly increased risk (OR = 1.8, 95% confidence interval, CI = 1.1-2.8) of ovarian cancer compared with women who did not drink regular coffee. Women with any CYP1A2 C allele were at similar risk of ovarian cancer (OR = 1.1, 95% CI = 0.7-1.7) compared with women with the A/A genotype. The associations of caffeine and coffee intake with risk were stronger among women with the A/A genotype than among women with any C allele. Somewhat stronger relations of coffee and caffeine intake to risk were found among women with cruciferous vegetable consumption above the median and among cases with mucinous histology. These preliminary data suggest a modest positive association of caffeine and coffee consumption with the OR for ovarian cancer that may be modified by CYP1A2 genotype and exposures, such as cruciferous vegetable consumption, that influence CYP1A2 expression.