Beyond expectations: The impact of HPV vaccine on skin cancer

Gardasil injected directly into tumours is showing promise

A US doctor has successfully treated an elderly patient with extensive skin cancers by directly injecting the HPV vaccine, Gardasil into the tumours, according to a paper published JAMA Dermatology

In her case notes, Dr Anna Nichols says the woman in her 90s had multiple cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas but treatment with the vaccine led to regression of all tumours.

"She was not a candidate for surgery because of the sheer number and size of her tumours”, Dr Nichols writes.

“She wasn't a candidate for radiotherapy, again for the same reasons.”

The patient was first given two doses of the 9-valent HPV vaccine in her arm, six weeks apart. 

A few weeks later, Dr Nichols directly injected several of the patient's tumours. The intratumoral injections were given four times over 11 months.

"All of her tumours completely resolved 11 months after the first direct