A 21-year-old male presented with a large mediastinal mass and a white cell count of 420 x 10(9)/L. A diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) was made, with 90% of cells in the bone marrow (BM) and 99% in the peripheral blood (PB) being lymphoblasts (FAB L1). Cytogenetic analysis of these cells revealed a rare variant of the t(4;11) translocation involving chromosome arm 11p rather than 11q, namely t(4;11)(q21;p14-15). The standard form of the (4;11) translocation has been associated with leukemias with mixed-lineage phenotypes. Three cases of ALL with t(4q;11p) have previously been reported. One of these cases showed phenotypic heterogeneity involving myeloid and lymphoid lineages. The leukemia reported here also exhibits lymphoid/myeloid features. Immunophenotyping of the blasts showed that most of the cells were positive for CD2, CD5, CD7, CD10 (CALLA), CD34, and HLA-DR. A significant proportion of the cells expressed CD33. These results suggest a biphenotypic rather than a biclonal disease. Molecular analysis showed rearrangement of both immunoglobulin heavy-chain genes (JH) and of a single allele of the T-cell receptor (TCR) gamma 1 gene, while retaining germline TCR beta genes.