In a review of 432 children with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), we identified a new nonrandom translocation, tdic(9;12)(p1?1;p1?2), in the leukemic marrow cells of eight patients. Seven had hypodiploid karyotypes that lacked chromosomes 9 and 12 and contained a der(12), tdic(9;12); the eighth had a pseudodiploid karyotype with two normal 9 chromosomes, one normal 12 and the der(12), tdic(9;12). Abnormalities involving chromosomes other than 9 and 12 were noted in four of the eight patients. All cells with the tdic(9;12) expressed both the common ALL antigen and HLA-DR. Cytoplasmic immunoglobulin, a marker of pre-B ALL, was detected in one case with the tdic(9;12) but was absent in the other seven. Our results suggest that the tdic(9;12)(p1?1;p1?2) rearrangement is specifically associated with leukemic B cell precursors.