The tumor phenotype is associated with the rearrangement of genetic information and the altered expression of many gene products. In this review, genes associated with the tumor phenotype have been arranged on the human gene map and indicate the extent to which the tumor phenotype involves the human genome. Nonrandom chromosomal aberrations that are frequently observed in tumors are presented. Altered metabolic demands of the tumor cell are reflected in altered gene expressions of a wide range of enzymes and other proteins, and these changed enzyme patterns are described. The study of oncogenes increasingly suggests that they may be significant in certain cancers, and the assignment of these genes has been tabulated. The biochemical and metabolic changes observed in tumors are complex; studying the patterns and interactions of these changes will aid our genetic understanding of the origins and development of tumors.