The recurrent loss of genetic material from a specific chromosomal region in a given tumor type suggests the presence of a tumor- suppressor gene, the loss or inactivation of which may be relevant for tumorigenesis. In this study, we provide molecular evidence for the recurrent association between deletions on the long arm of chromosome 6 and B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL). Normal and tumor DNAs from 71 cases of B-NHL were studied for loss of constitutional heterozygosity (LOH) at 19 loci on chromosome 6 using a panel of restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) probes. LOH, indicating deletion of all or part of 6q, was detected in 16 of 71 cases (22.5%), ranging from low- grade to high-grade B-NHL. The isolated loss of 6p or the loss of other chromosomes (8, 17, 22) tested as controls for specificity was not observed in any case. Comparison of the extent of the deletions among different cases allowed the identification of two distinct regions of minimal deletion (RMD) at 6q25 to 6q27 (RMD-1) and at 6q21 to 6q23 (RMD- 2), respectively, suggesting the existence of two tumor-suppressor genes. These data support a role for 6q deletions in B-NHL pathogenesis and provide a basis for identifying the corresponding tumor-suppressor genes.