Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast constitutes about 10% of all diagnosed breast cancers and, despite surgical removal, it may recur, either as DCIS or invasive breast cancer. Nuclear grade and growth pattern according to Andersen et al as well as surgical margins are factors that have been used to predict local recurrence, but ideally a set of tumour-specific factors should be identified and used as prognostic markers. Many cell cycle regulatory gene products have been shown to be involved in the formation of tumours and are either oncogenes or suppressor genes and involved in key processes in the transformation. We therefore characterised the cell cycle regulators cyclin E, cyclin D1, p27 and p16 in a material of DCIS cases arranged in a tissue microarray. With a manual tissue arrayer, 52% of the initial 177 DCIS samples were successfully targeted allowing immunohistochemical analyses of all four proteins in 92 cases of DCIS. As also observed in invasive breast cancer, there was a trend indicating that DCIS cases with high cyclin D1 were cyclin E low and oestrogen receptor-positive, whereas cyclin E high DCIS cases were cyclin D1 low and oestrogen receptor-negative. For the 64 patients that did not receive postoperative radiotherapy, there were 16 local recurrences (eight DCIS and eight invasive breast cancer) during a mean follow-up time of 63 months. Cyclin E, p27 or p16 were not associated with local recurrence, but interestingly cyclin D1 was significantly and inversely associated with local recurrence, both using univariate and multivariate analyses. In summary, using a tissue array approach we have shown that cyclin D1, besides growth pattern, is a prognostic marker for local recurrence in DCIS.