Human colorectal carcinoma tissue sampled from 37 patients, routinely graded into Dukes' stages A, B and C and histologically examined for the level of differentiation, were analyzed for the presence of point mutations in the K-ras oncogene. Seventeen cases out of the 37 analyzed were found to have a mutation in either the 12th or the 13th codon of the K-ras gene, giving an overall frequency of mutation of 46%. The incidence of mutations in Dukes' stages A, B and C was 33, 46 and 58% respectively. Although the frequency of mutation appears to be similar to that reported for the USA population, the spectrum of point mutations in codons 12 and 13 of the K-ras gene in the Yugoslav population appears to differ significantly. G-to-T transversions make up 77% of all mutations present, with the distribution as follows: 18% at the first base and 59% at the second base of codons 12 and 13. G-to-A transitions at the second base is the only other mutation identified, occurring mainly in codon 13 in colorectal tumors of all 3 stages.