Compelling evidence supports a role of certain types of human papillomaviruses as the cause of cervical cancer. In addition to human papillomaviruses, other agents, such as hormones, have been implicated as cofactors in this type of neoplasia. In this study we provide evidence for oncogenic transformation of primary baby rat kidney cells by human papillomavirus type 16 deoxyribonucleic acid plus ras oncogene in the presence of progesterone but not estrogen. Integrated and intact human papillomavirus type 16 deoxyribonucleic acid is present and expressed in all the five progesterone-transformed colonies that we examined. Moreover, all these cell lines are capable of anchorage-independent growth and induce tumors in syngeneic animals. We also observed oncogenic transformation with human papillomavirus type 16 deoxyribonucleic acid plus ras in the presence of ethanol-soluble extracts from two brands of commonly used oral contraceptive tablets. No transformation is achieved in the presence of ethanol-soluble extracts from the inert tablets, provided in packages of each brand of oral contraceptive. These results may have implications for a papillomavirus-hormone link to cervical neoplasia.