A small proportion of breast cancer is attributable to the inheritance of dominant, high penetrance susceptibility genes. One of these genes, BRCA2, has recently been localised by genetic linkage analysis to chromosome 13q12-13. This is a region known to exhibit loss of heterozygosity in 20-40% sporadic breast cancers. In this study, we have examined cancers from a family showing strong evidence of linkage to BRCA2. LOH was seen in seven out of eight informative cancers. In all cases the allele lost was the wild type allele that does not segregate with the disease in the family. The data suggest that both alleles of BRCA2 are inactivated in cancers, the pattern expected of a recessive oncogene or tumour suppressor gene.