Seven human medulloblastomas (four primary cerebellar, three recurrent or metastatic) were karyotyped in direct preparation and/or short-term or early culture. One tumor had a 46,XX stem line. Four of the six remaining tumors contained one or more i(17q), and three of these six tumors had deletions of extra copies of chromosome #1, resulting in trisomy of 1p, 1q, or both. Two tumors had near-centromeric breaks of chromosome #3, two tumors contained unbalanced translocations with breakpoints at 20q13, and two tumors contained double minutes. These findings suggest that the primary karyotypic deviations of human medulloblastomas are gains of whole chromosomes, which are then either deleted or involved in unbalanced translocations, resulting in partial trisomies.