The measurement of proliferative index has yielded promising yet conflicting results in the evaluation of testicular tumors. We have examined the role of Ki-67, along with the cyclins A and E in testicular tumorigenesis. We compared the immunoreactivity of 20 pure seminomas with 20 mixed germ cell tumors composed predominantly of embryonal carcinoma with a variety of proliferation markers, including Ki-67, cyclin A, and cyclin E. All 40 tumors stained for Ki-67, and 19 of 20 (95%) seminomas and 18 of 20 (90%) embryonal carcinomas stained positively for cyclin A. Cyclin E stained 14 of 19 (74%) of the embryonal carcinomas and only 4 of 20 (20%) of the seminomas (Fisher's exact two-tailed test, P = .0012). There was a trend toward larger tumor size for cyclin E-positive seminomas (median, 5.92 cm versus 3.96 cm; P = .08), although the same correlation was not significant in embryonal carcinomas. For both seminomas and embryonal carcinomas, staining with cyclin E did not correlate with the presence of lymphovascular invasion or capsular invasion. However, patients who had cyclin E-positive tumors presented with higher clinical stage (P = .0015). In addition, pulmonary spread in embryonal carcinomas (four patients) and seminomas (one patient) occurred only in patients whose tumors were cyclin E positive (P = .014). Although Ki-67 and cyclin A offer little prognostic information in testicular germ cell tumors, cyclin E immunoreactivity correlates with tumor type and is strongly predictive of distant tumor spread.