Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) components in extracts of seven malignant and eleven benign ovarian tumors were characterized using the criteria of electrophoretic mobility before and after neuraminidase treatment, heat stability, L-phenylalanine inhibition and reactivity against antiplacental ALP antiserum. Seven of the eighteen tumors had ALP components which most closely resembled the ALP isoenzyme normally found in placenta and were clearly distinguished from all other tissue ALPs. The proportion of tumors with the placental-like ALP in the malignant group (five out of seven) was significantly greater than the proportion in the benign group (two out of eleven). The fraction (78%) of the malignant tumors with the isozyme represents a larger percentage than has previously been found by examination of cancer patients' sera. The electrophoretic mobilities of the placental-like ALPs in the tumors were in no case identical to the mobilities of any of the six common placental ALP phenotypes. The tumor ALPs may thus be determined by rare variant alleles at the ALP locus, or alternatively, the enzyme molecules may have been subject to structural modification. At least two of these tumors contained an electrophoretically slow. heat-stable, leucine-sensitive ALP, which may correspond to what has been termed the D-variant of placental ALP found in some other tumors.