Prostate cancer is a major cause of cancer death among elderly men in America, Europe, and Japan. However, the molecular mechanism of carcinogenesis is not yet well characterized. Frequent loss of heterozygosity (LOH) on chromosome 10q was reported in prostate cancer, and a candidate tumor suppressor gene, PTEN, was isolated on chromosome band 10q23.3. To investigate the genetic alterations of PTEN, we examined 45 primary prostate cancer specimens. LOH at the PTEN locus was observed in two (11.1%) of 18 tumors. However, no mutations were observed in any of the primary prostate cancers. These data suggest that mutation of the PTEN gene does not play a major role in prostate carcinogenesis of Japanese patients.