Since 1989, about 570 different p53 mutations have been identified in more than 8000 human cancers. A database of these mutations was initiated by M. Hollstein and C. C. Harris in 1990. This database originally consisted of a list of somatic point mutations in the p 53 gene of human tumors and cell lines, compiled from the published literature and made available in a standard electronic form. The database is maintained at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and updated versions are released twice a year (January and July). The current version (July 1997) contains records on 6800 published mutations and will surpass the 8000 mark in the January 1998 release. The database now contains information on somatic and germline mutations in a new format to facilitate data retrieval. In addition, new tools are constructed to improve data analysis, such as a Mutation Viewer Java applet developed at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) to visualise the location and impact of mutations on p53 protein structure. The database is available in different electronic formats at IARC (http://www.iarc. fr/p53/homepage.htm ) or from the EBI server (http://www.ebi.ac.uk ). The IARC p53 website also provides reports on database analysis and links with other p53 sites as well as with related databases. In this report, we describe the criteria for inclusion of data, the revised format and the new visualisation tools. We also briefly discuss the relevance of p 53 mutations to clinical and biological questions.