We have used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of tandem repeats to study the pattern of allelic loss on chromosome 7q31 in invasive epithelial ovarian carcinomas and borderline ovarian tumors. Using 13 primer sets spanning loci from 7q31 to 7q32, 16 borderline and 54 invasive ovarian tumor tissue, together with their corresponding normal tissue, were analysed. Invasive epithelial ovarian tumors demonstrated loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at one or more loci on 7q in 32 of 54 cases (59%). The invasive epithelial ovarian tumors demonstrated the highest percentage of LOH at the loci D7S643 (20 of 40 informative cases, 50%) and GATA44F09 (18 of 42 informative cases, 43%). In contrary, only one borderline ovarian tumor showed LOH at one locus (GATA44F09, one of 14 informative cases, 7%). Our results display a sharp contrast in the pattern of LOH between invasive and borderline ovarian tumors suggesting that allelic loss at chromosome 7q31.3 may be involved in the development and progression of invasive epithelial ovarian tumors but not borderline ovarian tumors. Further analysis of the deletion map for the invasive epithelial ovarian tumors showed two regions likely to harbor ovarian tumor suppressor genes including a novel 1300 kilobase common loss region flanked by GATA44F09 and D7S643.