Histologic specimens (317) of genital and nongenital cancers and normal tissue were analyzed for the presence of the DNA of human papillomavirus (HPV) 6, 11, 16, and 18 by filter in situ hybridization performed on paraffin-embedded, formalin-fixed tissue (HISTOFISH). HPV DNA was found in 73 of 172 (42%) anogenital lesions and 17 of 116 (15%) nonanogenital carcinomas. No HPV DNA was found in normal mouse skin (five samples), human autopsy liver (two samples), or kidney (eight samples), or in carcinomas of the breast (three samples), bladder (five samples), or colon (nine samples). Of the nongenital tumors, HPV DNA was found in the carcinomas of the lung (2 of 5), anus (7 of 18), esophagus (9 of 39), buccal cavity (1 of 5), and larynx (5 of 50). HPV DNA was also detected in 2 of 11 histologically normal specimens of the cervix and 1 of 3 human skin lesions. The detection of HPV DNA in carcinomas of the lung, larynx, and esophagus as well as in the anogenital region confirms recent suggestions that HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18 have a wider association with different types of cancer than previously believed. The study also shows that HISTOFISH is a useful method for detecting HPV-DNA in histologic specimens.