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Brief Report
August 2018

Combined Systemic and Intratumoral Administration of Human Papillomavirus Vaccine to Treat Multiple Cutaneous Basaloid Squamous Cell Carcinomas

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida
  • 2Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miami, Florida
  • 3Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida
  • 4Skin Institute of South Florida & Hollywood Dermatology, Hollywood
  • 5Skin and Cancer Associates, Plantation, Florida
  • 6Treasure Coast Dermatology, Port St Lucie, Florida
JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(8):927-930. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.1748
Key Points

Question  Does the 9-valent human papillomavirus vaccine have therapeutic utility for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma?

Findings  A woman in her 90s with multiple cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas was treated with the 9-valent human papillomavirus vaccine systemically and intratumorally. This approach led to regression of all tumors.

Meaning  These findings suggest that the 9-valent human papillomavirus vaccine could be a therapeutic option for patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma when surgical management is not an option.

Abstract

Importance  Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer, and its incidence is increasing. When surgical management is not an option, finding a safe and efficacious treatment is a challenge. Mounting evidence suggests that the human papillomavirus (HPV) is involved in the pathogenesis of some SCCs.

Objective  To assess whether the 9-valent HPV vaccine could be an effective treatment strategy for cutaneous SCC.

Design, Setting, and Participants  A woman in her 90s with multiple, inoperable cutaneous basaloid SCCs was successfully treated at a university-based outpatient dermatology clinic with a combination of systemic and intratumoral delivery of the 9-valent HPV vaccine from March 17, 2016, through February 27, 2017, and then followed up through May 21, 2018.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Reduction in tumor size and number after a combination of systemic and intratumoral administration of the HPV vaccine.

Results  All tumors resolved 11 months after the first intratumoral injection of the vaccine. The patient remained free of tumors at the end of follow-up.

Conclusions and Relevance  This is the first report, to our knowledge, of complete regression of a cutaneous malignant tumor after combined systemic and direct intratumoral injection of the 9-valent HPV vaccine. This report suggests that the HPV vaccine may have therapeutic utility for SCCs in patients who are poor surgical candidates, have multiple lesions, or defer surgery.

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