Neuroblastomas often show loss of heterozygosity of the chromosomal region 1p36 (LOH 1p), probably reflecting loss of a tumor-suppressor gene. Here we describe three neuroblastoma tumors and two cell lines in which LOH 1p results from an unbalanced translocation between the p arm of chromosome 1 and the q arm of chromosome 17. Southern blot and cytogenetic analyses show that in all cases the chromosome 17 homologue from which the 1;17 translocation was derived is still present and intact. This suggests a model in which a translocation between the short arm of chromosome 1 and the long arm of chromosome 17 takes place in the S/G2 phase of the cell cycle and results in LOH 1p. Nonhomologous mitotic recombination in the S/G2 phase is a novel mechanism of LOH.