Amplification of 8p11-12 has been recurrently reported in sporadic breast cancer. These studies define a complex molecular structure with a set of minimal amplified regions, and different putative oncogenes that show a strong correlation between amplification and over-expression such as ZNF703/FLJ14299, SPFH2/C8orf2, BRF2 and RAB11FIP. However, none of these studies were carried out on familial breast malignancies. We have studied the incidence, molecular features and clinical value of this amplification in familial breast tumors associated with BRCA1, BRCA2 and non-BRCA1/2 gene mutations. We detected 9 out of 80 familial tumors with this amplicon by chromosomal comparative genomic hybridization. Next, we used a high-resolution comparative genomic hybridization array covering the 8p11-12 region to characterize this chromosomal region. This approach allowed us to define 2 cores of common amplification that largely overlap with those reported in sporadic tumors. Our findings confirm the molecular complexity of this chromosomal region and indicate that this genomic event is a common alteration in breast cancer, present not only in sporadic but also in familial tumors. Finally, we found correlation between the 8p11-12 amplification and proliferation (Ki-67) and cyclin E expression, which further proves in familial tumors the poor prognosis association previously reported in sporadic breast cancer. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.