Chromosome studies of pediatric germ cell tumors (GCTs) show differences in abnormalities dependent on age, sex, tumor location, and histology. Previous studies suggest that loss of 1p is associated with a malignant phenotype, while amplification of 12p, a common finding in adult testicular GCTs, is uncommon in pediatric GCTs. Fifty-three pediatric GCTs were analyzed for 1p36 loss and 12p amplification by G-banding and dual-color interphase FISH with probes for the centromere and short arm of chromosomes 1 or 12. Twelve tumors with loss of 1p36 were identified. No deletion was detected in tumors with nonmalignant histology, such that there was a significant association of 1p loss with malignancy in these tumors (P = 0.00115). Five of 18 tumors from male patients had amplification of 12p, consistent with G-band results. Combined analysis of our data with those in the literature revealed a significant correlation of 12p amplification with patient age (P = 0.000196). Amplification of 12p was only seen in one of 35 tumors from female patients. Five female GCTs had numerical abnormalities of chromosome 12, and two tumors showed complete lack of 12p. This spectrum of abnormalities differs from what is seen in the male tumors, providing further evidence for different etiologies of GCTs between the sexes.