We have analyzed 12 microsatellite markers on chromosome 9p in 54 paired cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) tumors and normal tissues. Forty-six percent of the tumors, including two in situ CMMs, showed loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at 9p. Only one tumor was homozygously deleted for 9p markers. The smallest deleted region was defined by five tumors and included markers D9S126 to D9S259. Loss of eight or more markers correlated significantly with worse prognosis (P < .002). Among the primary tumors, 87.5% of those with large deletions have a high risk of metastasis, as compared with only 18% of those without deletions or with loss of fewer than 8 markers (P < .001). It was not possible to demonstrate homozygous deletions of p16 in any of the CMM tumors. In four tumors, the LOH for 9p markers did not involve p16. The reported data suggest the existence of several tumor suppressor genes at 9p that are involved in the predisposition to and/or progression of CMM and exclude p16 from involvement in the early development of some melanoma tumors.