Tumor specimens from 15 patients with giant cell tumor (GCT) of bone were cytogenetically analyzed. A subset of five individuals had tumor cells harvested and polyadenylated RNA isolated. Multiple Northern blots were performed utilizing radiolabeled probes for the growth factors TGF beta 1, TGF beta 2, TGF beta 3, and TGF alpha (TGF, transforming growth factor). RNAs from other types of neoplasms and nonneoplastic cells were examined as controls. The most consistent cytogenetic abnormality detected involved multiple telomeric associations (TAs), most frequently involving the terminus of the long arm of chromosome 19 (19q). Northern blot analysis revealed a consistent expression of TGF beta 1 and TGF beta 2 with an inconsistent mRNA expression for the other TGFs. There was a relative overexpression of mRNA for TGF beta 2. The gene location for TGF beta 1 is near the 19q terminus and thus it is speculated that TGF beta may play a role in the neoplastic transformation of GCT.