Background: Loss of genetic heterogeneity (allelic loss or loss of heterozygosity) on chromosome arm 8p is frequent in squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck and has been associated with poor prognosis. We have previously demonstrated that there are three minimal regions of allelic loss on this chromosome arm. The location of each region is marked by a microsatellite locus: D8S264 (8p23), D8S552 (8p23-p22), and D8S133 (8p21). These findings imply the existence of at least three putative tumor suppressor genes on this chromosome arm that may become inactivated during the progression of squamous cell carcinoma. Purpose: We used allelic loss data from these three loci to determine if inactivation of these putative suppressors is associated with poor prognosis for patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the supraglottic larynx. We also used multivariate statistics to compare the prognostic power of allelic loss at these genetic markers with that of demographic, clinical, and histopathologic parameters. Methods: We examined the D8S264, D8S552, and D8S133 microsatellites in tumors from a retrospective population of 59 patients. All patients had histologically confirmed squamous cell carcinoma of the supraglottic larynx and had been treated surgically. DNA was extracted from matched sets of normal and microdissected tumor tissue and used for polymerase chain reaction amplification of the microsatellite markers. Reaction products were separated by denaturing gel electrophoresis and visualized by autoradiography. Patient data were obtained from the original pathology report and from the tumor registry of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. Histopathologic data were obtained by reviewing the portion of the resection specimen used for DNA extraction. Parameters whose association with reduced disease-free interval and reduced disease-specific survival was statistically significant were identified by use of the Kaplan-Meier method and the logrank statistic. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to identify independent predictors of poor prognosis. All statistical tests were two- sided. Results: In this patient population, allelic loss at the D8S264 locus was associated with both shorter disease-free interval (logrank P = .028) and reduced disease-specific survival (logrank P = .004). Allelic loss at the next most centromeric locus, D8S552, had a statistically significant association with only reduced disease-specific survival (logrank P = .034), whereas allelic loss at the most centromeric region, D8S133, showed no statistically significant association with reductions in either interval. Multivariate Cox models suggested that D8S264 was the only 8p marker of the three microsatellites with a statistically significant and independent association with shortened disease-free interval (relative risk [RR] = 3.38; P = .0107) and reduced disease-specific survival (RR = 3.41; P = .0105). Conclusions: Allelic loss in the p23 region of chromosome 8 appears to be a statistically significant, independent predictor of poor prognosis in patients with supraglottic squamous cell carcinoma.