Primary breast tumors were tested for loss of heterozygosity (LOH), on chromosome 9p with microsatellite markers restricted to a 28 cM region including the MTS1 gene. LOH was found with at least 1 marker in 38% of the 201 cases analyzed. A high frequency of deletions was detected at the 9p23-p21 region, indicating a tumor suppressor gene(s) important for breast cancer tumorigenesis. Tumors with and without LOH on 9p were compared with respect to clinico-pathological factors using chi 2 analysis. Tumors with 9p LOH were significantly associated with high S-phase status and aneuploidy, but not with type, node status, estrogen and progesterone receptor content or age of the patients at diagnosis. Survival analysis showed that LOH at 9p did not significantly affect the survival rate of breast cancer patients. Our results indicate that the aberrations on 9p detected in this study are not of independent prognostic value. A significant association was found between LOH at 9p and LOH at chromosomal arms 3p and 6q, which is an additional contribution toward understanding the genetic events in breast tumor pathogenesis.