It is increasingly recognized that the identification of t(11;22)(q24;q12) is a useful aid in the accurate diagnosis of Ewing's sarcoma and related tumours. However, cytogenetic studies have a low success rate and adequate tumour is not always available. This study describes the use of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to detect translocations at 22q12, the site of the EWS gene involved in t(11;22)(q24;q12), on tumour touch imprints made from true cut core-needle biopsy and frozen tumour. Of the seven tumours analysed, five diagnosed as Ewing's sarcoma or primitive neuroectodermal tumour demonstrated chromosome translocation at 22q12. This is a rapid and reliable method to detect a diagnostically relevant chromosome translocation using minimal amounts of fresh or frozen tumour.