Molecular cytogenetic analysis frequently shows human papillomavirus (HPV) integration near translocation breakpoints in cervical cancer cells. We have recently described a cluster of HPV18 integrations in the distal end of the common fragile site FRA8C at 8q24 in primary cervical carcinoma samples. Chromosome band 8q24 contains the MYC gene (alias c-MYC), FRA8C, and FRA8D. The MYC gene is frequently deregulated--usually by translocation or amplification--in various tumor types. In the present study, we performed a molecular cytogenetic analysis of HPV18 integration patterns and the 8q24 translocation in a primary cervical carcinoma and in HeLa cells using combined binary ratio-fluorescence in situ hybridization. Our aim was to determine how the chromosomal breaks involved in these events relate physically to the MYC gene; whether they map to the FRA8C site, the FRA8D site, or both; and how they correlate with the occurrence of DNA flexibility domains. The 8q24 translocation breakpoints mapped between stretches of integrated HPV18 sequences in the distal end of FRA8C. This region contained DNA helix flexibility clusters, several of which mapped in the vicinity of HPV integration sites and translocation breakpoints in cervical carcinomas. DNA helix flexibility clusters were also found near known MYC translocation breakpoints in Burkitt lymphomas (BL), but most BL breakpoints mapped clearly outside FRA8C. Our data revealed that FRA8C is involved in HPV integration and chromosomal translocations in cervical carcinoma; however, this fragile site is not involved in classical MYC translocations in most BLs. In the context of the familial nature of cervical cancer, FRA8C may be considered a candidate susceptibility region for cervical carcinoma.