A patient with bilateral retinoblastoma and subsequent multiple primary osteosarcomas has been described previously. Osteosarcoma cell lines established from this patient were shown to express a shortened RB1 mRNA transcript and no detectable normal Rb protein. We now show that the osteosarcoma cell lines have lost one TP53 allele and contain a mutation in exon 8 codon 286 [GAA to AAA (Glu to Lys)] in the remaining allele. Consequently, the osteosarcoma cell lines have no normal Rb protein and no normal p53 protein. Neither constitutional DNA nor DNA extracted from a retinoblastoma of the left eye of the patient contained the TP53 mutation, suggesting that the TP53 mutation in the osteosarcoma cells may represent a tumor-promoting mutation, which confers a selective growth advantage. If both RB1 and TP53 are involved in the initiation of osteosarcoma, the mechanisms for development of the retinoblastoma and osteosarcoma tumors are different.