Ring chromosomes are found in most dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSPs), and recent reports demonstrate that portions of the DFSP ring chromosomes derive from chromosome 17. In this study we characterized ring chromosomes in three DFSPs using a combined approach of karyotyping, chromosome painting, and comparative genomic hybridization. Chromosome painting demonstrated that the ring chromosomes in each DFSP were composed of discontinuous, interwoven sequences from chromosomes 17 and 22. Amplification of chromosomes 17 and 22 sequences was confirmed in each of these cases by comparative genomic hybridization, and over-representation of chromosomes 17 and 22 sequences was also demonstrated by comparative genomic hybridization in 1 of 2 cytogenetically unremarkable DFSPs. We conclude that amplification of chromosomes 17 and 22 sequences, in ring form, is a characteristic aberration in DFSP.