HPV vaccine eliminates advanced skin cancer in 97-year-old

July 24, 2018

(HealthDay)—The 9-valent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine could be a therapeutic option for patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma when surgical management is not an option, according to a case report published online July 3 in JAMA Dermatology.

A 97-year-old female patient had developed multiple cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas. On a hunch, her doctor, Anna Nichols, M.D., of the University of Miami's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, tried an unorthodox approach—she injected each with Gardasil, the HPV vaccine. The result: All the tumors completely and rapidly disappeared.

Nichols first administered two in the patient's arm. Several weeks later, additional injections were administered directly into some of the tumors. The treatment was applied a total of four times, spread out over an 11-month period. Less than a year following the initial direct-to-tumor vaccine injection, all of the treated tumors disappeared, Nichols said. What's more, over the two-year post-treatment period, there's been no skin cancer recurrence.

"We were surprised that all of the patient's tumors regressed," Nichols told HealthDay, "even those that were not directly injected with the HPV vaccine. This has never been reported until now." Many questions remain, of course. More testing is planned to reconfirm the vaccine's effectiveness against squamous cell carcinomas, Nichols said. It's unclear if it will prove similarly effective against other forms of skin cancer. But Nichols believes that the HPV vaccine "could be considered for carefully selected patients who have limited conventional treatment options."

Two coauthors of the case report disclosed a patent pending for this application of HPV .

Explore further: Sylvester researcher uses HPV vaccine to treat patient with skin cancer

More information: Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Sylvester researcher uses HPV vaccine to treat patient with skin cancer

July 3, 2018
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second-most-common form of skin cancer. Evidence suggests the human papilloma virus plays a role in the development of some types of this skin cancer.

New treatment to reverse drug resistance in some cancers

June 28, 2018
University of Queensland researchers have discovered how to reverse drug resistance in skin and mouth squamous cell carcinomas.

Stem cell vaccine immunizes lab mice against multiple cancers

February 15, 2018
Stanford University researchers report that injecting mice with inactivated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) launched a strong immune response against breast, lung, and skin cancers. The vaccine also prevented relapses ...

Brain cancer vaccine effective in some patients

May 31, 2018
Most people with the deadly brain cancer glioblastoma die less than 18 months after diagnosis. But a multicenter clinical trial of a personalized vaccine that targets the aggressive cancer has indicated improved survival ...

Personalized ovarian cancer vaccine shows promise in pilot trial

April 11, 2018
A new type of cancer vaccine has yielded promising results in an initial clinical trial conducted at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. ...

Inhibiting metabolism found to be effective in treating aggressive form of lung cancer

April 12, 2018
Researchers from UCLA and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center have found that two targeted therapies could be more effective if used in combination to treat squamous cell carcinomas of the lung. The two drugs, MLN128 and CB-839, ...

Recommended for you

Eating foods with low nutritional quality ratings linked to cancer risk in large European cohort

September 18, 2018
The consumption of foods with higher scores on the British Food Standards Agency nutrient profiling system (FSAm-NPS), reflecting a lower nutritional quality, is associated with an increased risk of developing cancer, according ...

CRISPR screen reveals new targets in more than half of all squamous cell carcinomas

September 18, 2018
A little p63 goes a long way in embryonic development—and flaws in p63 can result in birth defects like cleft palette, fused fingers or even missing limbs. But once this early work is done, p63 goes silent, sitting quietly ...

Could the zika virus fight the brain cancer that killed john McCain?

September 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—Preliminary research in mice suggests that the Zika virus might be turned from foe into friend—enlisted to curb deadly glioblastoma brain tumors.

Enlarged genotype-phenotype correlation for a three-base pair deletion in neurofibromatosis type 1

September 18, 2018
International collaborative research led by Ludwine Messiaen, Ph.D., shows that while a three-base pair, in-frame deletion called p.Met992del in the NF1 gene has a mild phenotype for people with the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis ...

Your teen is underestimating the health risks of vaping

September 17, 2018
Teens today are more reluctant to smoke cigarettes than their counterparts nearly three decades ago, according to a study released this summer. But parents should hold their collective sigh of relief. The study, carried out ...

Artificial intelligence can determine lung cancer type

September 17, 2018
A new computer program can analyze images of patients' lung tumors, specify cancer types, and even identify altered genes driving abnormal cell growth, a new study shows.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.