We have used comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) to survey genomic regions with aberrant copy numbers of DNA sequences in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. In 12 cell lines and 6 primary tumors from 18 patients with pancreatic adenocarcinomas, highly frequent losses (> 60%) were observed on chromosome arms 6q, 9p, and 18q and the Y chromosome. Moderately frequent losses (40-60%) were observed on chromosome arms 3p, 4q, 8p, and 21q. Interestingly, these samples showed extremely high frequencies of increases in copy numbers of DNA sequences on the long arm of chromosome 20 (15/18, 83%). We further analyzed five cell lines by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with probes on chromosome 20 to define the increase in copy number more accurately, and we found that 20q was increased to between 5 and 8 copies per cell. These results suggest the existence of an oncogene or oncogenes in 20q that play a role in the development and/or the progression of pancreatic carcinogenesis.