Many genes and signalling pathways controlling cell proliferation, death and differentiation, as well as genomic integrity, are involved in cancer development. New techniques, such as serial analysis of gene expression and cDNA microarrays, have enabled measurement of the expression of thousands of genes in a single experiment, revealing many new, potentially important cancer genes. These genome screening tools can comprehensively survey one tumor at a time; however, analysis of hundreds of specimens from patients in different stages of disease is needed to establish the diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic importance of each of the emerging cancer gene candidates. Here we have developed an array-based high-throughput technique that facilitates gene expression and copy number surveys of very large numbers of tumors. As many as 1000 cylindrical tissue biopsies from individual tumors can be distributed in a single tumor tissue microarray. Sections of the microarray provide targets for parallel in situ detection of DNA, RNA and protein targets in each specimen on the array, and consecutive sections allow the rapid analysis of hundreds of molecular markers in the same set of specimens. Our detection of six gene amplifications as well as p53 and estrogen receptor expression in breast cancer demonstrates the power of this technique for defining new subgroups of tumors.