Molecular investigations into the neoplastic transformation of a normal spermatogenic precursor cell into a germ-cell malignancy have implicated a wide array of DNA and RNA alterations. Previous epidemiologic and familial patterns of cancer presentation had suggested that testicular cancer developed from one or more genetic alterations. In particular, mutations in cellular oncogenes such as c-kit and tumor-suppressor genes such as the retinoblastoma gene product have been identified as putative etiologic agents in the development and progression of testicular germ-cell tumors. Additionally, alterations in the transcription of RNA that are regulated through a process of genomic imprinting have been identified in human testis cancers. This report provides a framework for integrating this growing literature on the molecular biology of testicular germ-cell tumors into a potential etiologic hypothesis.