A recent report has provided strong evidence for a major prostate cancer susceptibility locus (HPC1) on chromosome 1q24-25 (Smith et al, 1996). Most inherited cancer susceptibility genes function as tumour-suppressor genes (TSGs). Allelic loss or imbalance in tumour tissue is often the hallmark of a TSG. Studies of allelic loss have not previously implicated the chromosomal region 1q24-25 in prostate cancer. However, analysis of tumour DNA from cases in prostate cancer families has not been reported. In this study, we have evaluated DNA from tissue obtained from small families [3-5 affected members (n = 17)], sibling pairs (n = 15) and sporadic (n = 40) prostate tumours using the three markers from Smith et al (1996) that defined the maximum multipoint linkage lod score. Although widely spaced (12-50 cM), each marker showed evidence of allelic imbalance in only approximately 7.5% of informative tumours. There was no difference between the familial and sporadic cases. We conclude that the incidence of allelic imbalance at HPC1 is low in both sporadic tumours and small prostate cancer families. In this group of patients, HPC1 is unlikely to be acting as a TSG in the development of prostate cancer.