An etiological role for human papilloma viruses (HPVs) has been proposed for a variety of malignancies, and especially in cervical carcinomas. The role of HPVs in prostate cancer remains controversial. In particular, using primers derived from the L1 gene of HPV, it has been suggested that HPV sequences are associated with prostate malignancies. PCR and Southern blot hybridization was used to detect the presence of HPV DNA in fresh tissue from patients undergoing radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer. In total, 40 individual patients were analyzed and none of the samples contained detectable HPV DNA sequences.