We examined 142 primary human breast cancers to determine their patterns of loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at 19 microsatellite markers over the entire length of chromosome 7. Allelic loss at one or more loci on the short arm of chromosome 7 was observed in 37 of the tumors (26%). We found a new target region of allelic loss on 7p between D7S1802 and D7S817 at 7p14-15. LOH on 7p was found more frequently in tumors of the invasive solid tubular and scirrhous type (31 of 87); 36%) than in other less aggressive types (2 of 27; 7%) (P = 0.0047). The results suggest that inactivation of putative tumor suppressor gene(s) located at 7p14-15 may play a role in the development and/or progression of primary breast cancers, particularly those of the invasive solid tubular and scirrhous type. Allelic loss was also found in 56 of 142 tumors on the long arm, and a commonly deleted region was defined between D7S522 and D7S1801 at 7q31.