Using a direct cytogenetic technique, we identified a nonrandom trisomy of chromosome 6 in 12 of 12 aneuploid mouse skin papillomas and in 10 of 11 squamous cell carcinomas induced by chemical carcinogenesis. The second most common abnormality observed was trisomy of chromosome 7 found in most dysplastic papillomas and in 10 of 11 carcinomas. The two trisomies were the only abnormalities found in all aneuploid papillomas and in several carcinomas. Mutation at codon 61 of the Ha-ras gene, which resides on chromosome 7, was also a common feature of the tumors sampled.
Extensive homology exists between mouse chromosome 6 and human chromosome 7, the trisomy of which was recently suggested as a primary cytogenetic event in several human epithelial cancers. We propose a multistep model of tumor progression in which a sequence of specific nonrandom chromosomal abnormalities appear to be required for malignant transformation.