Two previous studies have reported the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) genomic sequences in colorectal cancers. We examined DNAs from 50 colorectal tumors for HPV sequences by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), using HPV consensus L1 primers for amplification. The PCR products were screened with a generic HPV probe consisting of amplimers of HPV-16 and HPV-18. All tumor DNAs were negative for HPV sequences. These results call into the question the reported association of colorectal cancers with HPVs.