Allelic losses on chromosome arm 22q are frequently observed in human meningiomas and in carcinomas of the colon, ovary, and breast. Among 140 primary breast cancers we examined for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at 16 polymorphic loci on the long arm of chromosome 22, 56 (40%) showed LOH for at least one locus. Eleven of these tumors had retained heterozygosity for markers proximal to the NF2 locus but showed LOH for markers distal to NF2. Deletion mapping indicated a new common region of deletion, 2-cM in extent, at q13.1 between Interleukin 2 receptor beta (IL2RB) and D22S279. Our results raise the possibility that one or more tumor suppressor genes associated with breast cancer may exist at 22q13.1. Comparison of these results with clinicohistological data indicated that allelic losses on 22q tend to occur more frequently in tumors of malignant histological types.