Alterations in the c-myc proto-oncogene in colorectal cancer were studied at the level of RNA expression, gene amplification and rearrangements. One hundred cases of colorectal cancer, stratified by Dukes' stage were examined. The level of messenger RNA expression was measured in tumours and matched normal mucosa from the same patient. Between 5 and 400 fold over-expression was found in 66% of tumours. Neither the presence nor the level of over-expression correlated with tumour staging. A significant correlation (P < 0.01) was found between over-expression of c-myc in tumours and the presence of synchronous adenomas elsewhere in the colon. In contrast to other tumours, no rearrangements of the gene were found on Southern analysis of colorectal cancers. Similarly, amplification of the gene was not found in the cancers examined.