The isoenzyme mu of glutathione S-transferase (GST mu) is dominantly inherited and the prevalence of this isoenzyme in the population is about 60%. An increased risk of lung cancer has been previously shown among smokers lacking GST mu in (Seidegard J., Pero R.W., Miller D.G., Beattie E.J. (1986) Carcinogenesis, 7, 751-753). The frequency of the phenotypes of this isoenzyme in bladder cancer patients (n = 75), in larynx cancer patients (n = 78) and healthy controls matched for age and smoking history is reported here. A significantly higher proportion of smokers in the control group had measurable GST mu compared with bladder cancer patients (54.6% vs. 33.3%, P < 0.01) and also compared to larynx cancer patients (55.1% vs. 33.3%, P < 0.01). Odds ratio analysis indicates that smokers with this polymorphic variant have an approximately 2-fold greater risk of developing these cancers.