Expression of eight tumour-relevant genes was studied in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue from 54 invasive ductal breast carcinomas using quantitative reverse transcription PCR (Q-RT-PCR). Seven of the genes map to chromosome 20q and are potential candidates for gene amplification and over-expression. The Her2/neu oncogene, on chromosome 17q, was investigated in the same tumours. Increased expression was most frequent for PTK6, Her2/neu, and ADA. No other 20q candidate gene (AIB1, PTPN1, ZNF217, and PFDN4) was prominent. A significant correlation between the expression of the tyrosine kinases PTK6 and Her2/neu was detected. The frequent elevation of PTK6 expression (in 43/54 tumours), and its correlation with Her2/neu oncogene over-expression, suggests a clinically relevant link between these two over-expressed tyrosine kinases.