Forty gastric tumors were investigated for microsatellite instability at the D2S119 and L-myc loci. These tumors and 143 other gastrointestinal cancers were previously analyzed for instability at several different microsatellites. By evaluating previous and present results, repeated sequences were selected that frequently underwent replication errors (RERs). To coamplify these sequences, the following multiplex polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) were performed: 1) D2S119/L-myc/D18S59; 2) D2S119/L-myc/D3S1076; and 3) D2S177/L-myc/BAT-RII. Therefore, the 40 gastric tumors in the present survey were rescreened using multiplex PCRs. Each multiplex allowed detection of nearly all RER+ tumors (80% for multiplex 3 and 87% for multiplexes 1 and 2) that had been previously identified by amplifying 9 different loci with independent reactions. Moreover, for multiplexes 1 and 2, the size differences between normal and RER alleles were sufficient to be detected by electrophoresis on conventional polyacrylamide gels after DNA staining with ethidium bromide. This approach allows a rapid and easy assessment of RER phenotype in gastric tumors.