We evaluated amplification and overrepresentation of CDK4, MDM2, GLI and SAS genes of the 12q13-15 region, in a group of soft tissue sarcomas including leiomyosarcomas (LMS), alveolar rhabdomyosarcomas (ARMS) and embryonal (anaplastic and classic variants) rhabdomyosarcomas (ERMS), to ascertain genomic alterations and possible differences within histologic subtypes of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). Quantitative real-time PCR was performed on DNA samples from 29 LMS, 9 ARMS, 7 anaplastic ERMS and 6 classic ERMS. Alteration of one or more of the 12q13-15 genes was revealed in 13/29 LMS (45%) and 12/22 RMS (54%) including 5/9 ARMS (56%), 5/7 anaplastic ERMS (71%) and 2/6 classic ERMS (33%). The potential importance of overproduction of protein products in neoplastic development, led us also to study a possible high expression of cdk4, mdm2 and gli proteins in immunohistochemical staining experiments on paraffin-embedded tissue samples of the same cases. Among LMS and RMS most cases with CDK4, MDM2 and GLI gene alterations also showed a simultaneous high expression of the relative protein. In summary, these results indicate that amplification or overerepresentation of genes at 12q13-15 region involve both LMS and RMS. Moreover these genes alterations reveal predominantly in the alveolar and in the anaplastic variant of the embryonal subtype. These two seem to have a more similar behavior than anaplastic and classic embryonal that are classified in the same subtype.