One-hundred-two patients with laryngeal squamous cell carcinomas in Northeast China were examined for human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) coupled with Southern blot hybridization, and for p53 over-expression by immunohistochemical staining. HPV DNAs were found in 60 cases (58.8%). HPV-16, -18, -6, -11, and -33 DNAs were detected in 30 cases, 22 cases, 25 cases, two cases, and one case, respectively. In addition, coinfection either with HPV-6 and -16 or with HPV-6 and -18 was detected in 20 cases (33.3% of HPV DNA-positive cases). p53 over-expression was observed in 60 patients (58.8%). p53 was over-expressed significantly in the poorly-differentiated SCC and in patients with metastasis to lymph nodes (P < 0.05, respectively). Both HPV DNA and p53-expression were positive in 35 patients, and negative in 17 patients. Either HPV DNA or p53-expression were positive in 50 patients (25 cases each). Although p53 was detected in 35 (58.3%) of HPV-positive patients, there was no significant correlation between HPV infection and p53 over-expression in laryngeal squamous cell carcinomas of Northeast China.