A dicentric translocation involving the short arms (p) of chromosomes 9 and 12 was identified in 15 of 2303 successfully banded cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children, consecutively entered on protocols of the Pediatric Oncology Group(1986-1990) or St Jude Children's Research Hospital (1984 ind 1990). The dic(9;12)(p1?1;p1?2) was seen only in patients with a B progenitor cell immunophenotype: the frequency was 0.8% imong pre-B cases (4/508) and 0.9% (11/1177) among early pre-B cases. Laboratory and clinical characteristics were similar to those of the general population of children with ALL, with the exception of a marked male preponderance (12/15 cases). Flow cytometeric studies revealed a leukemic cell DNA index of 1.0 in all cases. All fifteen patients are in continuous complete remission at a median follow-up duration of 57+ months (range 9-93+ months). These findings suggest that the dic(9;12) is a recurrent chromosomal translocation in pediatric ALL, occurs exclusively in B-progenitor ALL, and unlike other non-random translocations, is associated with an excellent prognosis.