[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Development of cervical cancer is a long process of abnormal cancerous cell growth in the cervix and is primarily the result of infection with specific high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV). The cytokines tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) and lymphotoxin α (LTA) have an important role in all stages of cervical cancer and have the ability to induce the regression or promote the development of human tumors. Biologically important single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) occur within the TNFα and LTA genes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the SNPs in the TNFα promoter region (-163, -238, -244, -308, -376, -857, -863, and -1031) and in the first intron of LTA (+252) in women with precursor lesions of cervical cancer. Overall, we studied 396 women from Mexico City. A total of 191 patients with HPV infection and precursor cervical lesions were subdivided in two groups: those with low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (n = 132) and those with high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (n = 59). Women (n = 205) negative for HPV and without cervical lesions were also included in the study. DNA was extracted from peripheral white blood cells and from cervical samples, and detection of biallelic polymorphisms of TNFα and LTA was performed using the polymerase chain reaction-sequence-specific oligonucleotide probe and restriction fragment length polymorphism techniques, respectively. We demonstrated that risk is associated with the genotype G/A (odds ratio = 2.48) and that protection is associated with the genotype G/G of SNP TNFα -376 (odds ratio = 0.37).