HPV infection, high levels of TNF-alpha and spontaneous apoptosis were strongly associated with malignant phenotype of cervical tissues. Rate of spontaneous apoptosis was higher in AC compared to SCC. On the other hand, HPV negativity was correlated with AI. Moreover, TNF-alpha and apoptotic cell death were correlated to each other as well as to tumor progression. No correlation was detected between TNF-alpha and HPV-16 infection.