Cytogenetic analysis of cells from 622 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and successful G-banding chromosome studies disclosed seven cases with the t(11;14)(p13;q11) and one with the t(11;14)(p15;q11). Leukemia cells in all eight cases had a T-cell immunophenotype. The t(11;14)(p13;q11) occurred in 6.8% and the t(11;14)(p15;q11) in 1% of T-cell ALL cases (n = 103). The t(11;14) was associated with presenting clinical features typical of T-cell ALL: male predominance (n = 6), age greater than 10 years (n = 3), hyperleukocytosis (white blood cells greater than 100 x 10(9)/L, n = 5), relatively high hemoglobin level (median, 10.8 g/dL), high serum lactic dehydrogenase level (median, 3248 U/L), presence of mediastinal mass (n = 6), and central nervous system leukemia (n = 2). While there were no significant differences in presenting features between T-cell ALL cases with or without the t(11;14), leukemic cells from patients with the translocations were more likely to coexpress CD4 and CD8 antigens (6 of 6 v 35 of 86 cases tested, P less than .05). Adverse events have occurred in six patients: three central nervous system relapses [including the one with t(11;14)(p15;q11)], two secondary acute myeloid leukemia, and one hematologic relapse. Our results indicate that the t(11;14)(p13;q11) occurs exclusively in T-cell malignancies of intermediate- or late-stage thymocyte differentiation. Additional studies are needed to determine the prognostic implications of these translocations.