We applied multicolor spectral karyotyping (SKY) to decipher the chromosomal complexity of a panel of seven cell lines and four primary tumors derived from patients with high-grade serous adenocarcinoma of the ovary. By this method we identified a total of 188 unbalanced translocations, nine reciprocal translocations [t(2;15)(q13;q23), t(7;17) (q32;q21), t(8;22)(p11;q11), t(8;22) (q24;q13), t(10;19) (q24;q13.2), t(11;19) (q13;p11), t(12;21)(q13;q22),t(18;20) (q?11;q?11), t(18;22)(q?11;q?13)], 6 isochromosomes [i(1q), i(7q), i(8q), i(9p), i(17q), i(21q)], and 23 deletions. By detailed mapping of rearrangement breakpoints, it was possible to identify several recurring breakpoint clusters at chromosomal bands 1p36, 2p11, 2p23, 3p21, 3q21, 4p11, 6q11, 8p11, 9q34, 10p11, 11p11, 11q13, 12p13, 12q13, 17q21, 18p11, 18q11, 20q11, and 21q22. Recurrent interstitial deletion of chromosomal bands 8p11, 11p11, and 12q13 and a recurrent unbalanced translocation—der(6)t(6;8)(q11;q11)—were also identified. In addition, a homogeneously staining region localized in one cell line to 11q13 was found using SKY to be derived from genetic material originating from chromosome 12. Subsequent comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) studies on this tumor revealed the amplification of DNA sequences derived from the short arm of chromosome 12 at the 12p11.2 region. These studies demonstrate the power of SKY, CGH, and G-banding to resolve the full spectrum of chromosomal rearrangements in serous ovarian adenocarcinoma. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.