Twenty-four patients whose cells contained a variety of 11q23 rearrangements, including translocations, insertions, and an inversion, were studied using fluorescence in situ hybridization with cosmid, phage, and plasmid probes mapped to 11q22–24. In 17 patients, the breakpoints of the common 11q23 translocations involving chromosomes 4, 6, 9, and 19 as well as some uncommon translocations involving 3q23, 17q25, 10p11, and an insertion 10;11 were all located in the breakpoint cluster region of the MLL gene, regardless of age, phenotype of disease, or involvement of a third chromosome. The breakpoints in 11q23 in the other 7 patients with a t(7;11)(p15;q23), inv(11)(p11q23), t(4;11)(q23;q23), der(5)t(5;11)(q13;q23), ins(10;11)(p11;q23q24), t(11;14)(q23;q11), or t(11;18;11) (p15;q21;q23) were located either centromeric to CD3D or telomeric to THY1. Thus, although most 11q23 rearrangements, involve the same breakpoint cluster region of MLL, there is heterogeneity in the breakpoint in some of the rare rearrangements.