Deletions on the short arm of chromosome 9 (9p21 region) have been reported in a number of hematopoietic and solid tumors. These aberrations on 9p have been previously associated with the loss of the interferon gene cluster and the gene for methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP), localized to the 9p21-22 region. Recently, two putative tumor suppressor gene(s) CDKN2 and MTS2 have been mapped to the 9p21 region, and shown to be deleted in a large number of tumors including leukemias, melanomas, bladder cancers and brain tumors. We have previously reported a similar 9p21 abnormality and deletions of the CDKN2 and MTS2 genes in a myxoid chondrosarcoma cell line and its subclones. In this study we report consistent abnormalities of chromosome 9 in additional chondrosarcomas examined by a detailed cytogenetic and molecular analysis. Seven chondrosarcoma cell lines, one primary chondrosarcoma, and a benign chondroma were examined. Four of the seven tumor cell lines examined showed grossly visible aberrations of chromosome 9. Molecular analysis of these chondrosarcoma cell lines revealed hemizygous deletions of the interferon genes, and the absence of the MTAP gene, protein or activity. In addition, four of the seven chondrosarcoma cell lines also showed deletions of the CDKN2 and/or MTS2 putative tumor suppressor genes, or the absence of the CDKN2 protein product. No such chromosome 9 related aberrations were detected in the benign chondroma. These data suggest that chromosome 9p21 abnormality, and deletions of the CDKN2 and MTS2 tumor suppressor genes may be a significant event in the development of chondrosarcomas.