The multiple tumor suppressor gene 1 (MTS1) located on chromosome 9p has recently been implicated as a candidate tumor suppressor gene in many different tumor types. Cytogenetic analysis and deletion mapping studies have revealed that deletion of chromosome 9p occurs in a significant number of primary human astrocytomas. Using multiplex PCR with primers for exon 2 of MTS1 and for D9S196 from chromosome 9q, we have analyzed 78 primary astrocytic tumors for the deletion of MTS1. After controlling for the contamination of tumor samples with normal cells, homozygous loss of MTS1 was found in 13 of 25 anaplastic astrocytomas (WHO grade III) and in 27 of 46 cases of glioblastomas (WHO grade IV) but in none of seven astrocytomas (WHO grade II). These data suggest that MTS1 is an important tumor suppressor gene in the malignant progression of astrocytomas.

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Supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons' Foundation Scholarships.

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