In epithelial ovarian neoplasms K-ras codon 12 gene mutations show a wide variation fluctuating between 4-39% in invasive carcinomas and 20-48% in borderline malignant tumors. In this study, we showed the pattern of point mutations in codon 12 of the K-ras, H-ras and N-ras genes, using polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis in 74 tissue specimens of Greek patients with epithelial ovarian tumors. K-ras and H-ras gene mutations were detected in 11/48 (23%) and 3/48 (6%) cases with primary invasive ovarian carcinomas, respectively, while N-ras gene mutations were not found. No mutation of K-, H- and N-ras genes was detected in 23 ovarian cystadenomas. In 1 out of 3 borderline ovarian tumors (33%) we found an H-ras gene mutation. The prevalence of mutations in K-ras gene was 1/8 (13%) in mucinous, 7/29 (24%) in serous, 1/3 (33%) in endometrioid and 2/8 (25%) in clear-cell adenocarcinomas and in H-ras gene 1/8 (13%) in mucinous and 2/29 (7%) in serous adenocarcinomas. Analysis of the results revealed no significant correlation between ras gene mutations and clinicopathological parameters or clinical outcome of this primary invasive ovarian carcinoma population. Our present data suggest that ras gene mutations in invasive ovarian carcinomas occur in 29% of Greek patients and are not associated with the differentiation of the epithelial cells or the response of patients to adjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy.