The human papillomavirus vaccine: a potentially novel treatment for basaloid squamous cell carcinoma

Jason Levi Floyd, Ram Prasad


Inthe United States, 42.5% of patients ages 18–59 years who sought treatment forgenital infections throughout 2013–2014 were infected with any type of humanpapillomavirus (HPV) (1). The HPV affects millions of reproductive-age adultsin the United States and countless more throughout the world. In 2016, the U.S.FDA released a 9-valent HPV vaccine, commonly known as Gardasil-9, withintended uses in preventing the contraction of HPV and development of HPV-relateddiseases (2). However, new research suggests that this vaccine may have otherclinically significant treatment applications. A recent study published byNichols et al. in JAMA Dermatology entitled “Combined systemicand intratumoral administration of human papillomavirus vaccine to treatmultiple cutaneous basaloid squamous cell carcinomas”, which proposes the 9-valentHPV vaccine may be able to treat basaloid squamous cell carcinomas (bSCCs) (3).This novel finding has the potential to positively affect not only the millionsof people at risk for contracting HPV but also millions of patients sufferingfrom basal and squamous cell carcinomas, BCCs and SCCs, respectively.