Although the loss of tumor suppressor genes and the activation of oncogenes have been established as two of the fundamental mechanisms of tumorigenesis in human cancer, little is known about the possible interactions between these two mechanisms. Loss of genetic material on chromosome 10 and amplification of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene are the most frequently reported genetic abnormalities in glioblastoma multiforme. In order to examine a possible correlation between these two genetic aberrations, the authors studied 106 gliomas (58 glioblastomas, 14 anaplastic astrocytomas, five astrocytomas, nine pilocytic astrocytomas, seven mixed gliomas, six oligodendrogliomas, two ependymomas, one subependymoma, one subependymal giant-cell astrocytoma, and three gangliogliomas) with Southern blot analysis for loss of heterozygosity on both arms of chromosome 10 and for amplification of the EGFR gene. Both the loss of genetic material on chromosome 10 and EGFR gene amplification were restricted to the glioblastomas. Of the 58 glioblastoma patients, 72% showed loss of chromosome 10 and 38% showed EGFR gene amplification. The remaining 28% had neither loss of chromosome 10 nor EGFR gene amplification. Without exception, the glioblastomas that exhibited EGFR gene amplification had also lost genetic material on chromosome 10 (p less than 0.001). This invariable association suggests a relationship between the two genetic events. Moreover, the presence of 15 cases of glioblastoma with loss of chromosome 10 but without EGFR gene amplification may further imply that the loss of a tumor suppressor gene (or genes) on chromosome 10 precedes EGFR gene amplification in glioblastoma tumorigenesis.