Chromosomal abnormalities involving the short arm of chromosome 12 have been frequently observed in a broad spectrum of hematological malignancies. Recently, a gene located in this chromosomal region and implicated in leukemogenesis was identified. The gene, called ETV6 (previously known as TEL) is a new member of the ETS family, a group of genes thought to act as transcriptional activators. The gene spans 240 kb and consists of eight exons coding for a helix-loop-helix (HLH) and a DNA-binding domain. ETV6 was originally identified in a t(5;12)(q33;p13) occurring in a chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML). Recent reports, however, show its involvement in a growing number of translocations associated with myeloid as well as lymphoid leukemias. At the molecular level fusions of ETV6 with PDGFRB (5q33), ABL (9q34), MNI(22q11) and AML1(21q22) have already been identified. Analysis of these chimeric proteins indicates that distinct domains of ETV6 can be involved in different fusion products, thus ETV6 can provide transcriptional and dimerization properties for partner genes, or the gene itself can act as an altered transcriptional factor. At least two clinico-pathological entities associated with ETV6 rearrangements have emerged as distinct disorders. The first one is a chronic myeloid malignancy characterized by t(5;12)(q33;p13), monocytosis and/or eosinophilia. The second entity is a type of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) hallmarked by t(12;21)(p13;q22), and is shown to be the most frequent but cytogenetically largely undetectable chromosomal anomaly in childhood ALL.