Four genetic polymorphisms in the APC and MCC genes at chromosome 5q21 were analysed for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in 97 primary squamous carcinomas and adenocarcinomas of the lung. LOH was identified in at least two polymorphic loci in 41 percent of informative cases. There was no significant difference in the frequency of LOH between squamous carcinomas and adenocarcinomas. Within the adenocarcinoma group, however, LOH appeared to be more common in tumours having a bronchial origin (5/9; 56 per cent) than in parenchymal adenocarcinoma (6/21; 29 per cent). All 32 tumours showing LOH at one or more polymorphic sites were examined for mutations in the mutation cluster region (MCR) of APC by single-strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. Mutations were not detected in any of these cases. We therefore propose that it is likely that a tumour suppressor gene on 5q other than APC is involved in the pathogenesis of lung cancer.