HPV vax used to cure skin cancer

A dermatologist has injected it into a patient's tumours

A US dermatologist has successfully treated an elderly patient with extensive skin cancers by directly injecting an HPV vaccine into the tumours, according to JAMA Dermatology.


Dr Anna Nichols said the 97-year-old woman had ­multiple aggressive 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,” said Dr Nichols from the department of dermatology and cutaneous surgery at the University of Miami.

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

The patient was first given two IM doses of the nine-valent HPV vaccine (Gardasil-9) followed by six injections directly into some of the tumours over 11 months.

All the tumours completely resolved, including those not injected, within a year from the first direct tumour injection, and there was no recurrence, Dr Nichols said.

To her knowledge, this was the first case of complete regression of multiple SCCs after such treatment with the 9-valent vaccine.

Source: JAMA Dermatology 2018; online.

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