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A patient whose situation seemed hopeless managed to lose any trace of advanced skin cancer, simply based on a doctor’s intuition.
The story seems unbelievable, yet it’s true.
An elderly woman, in her 90’s, with countless squamous cell tumors on her right leg, went to Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, where she was seen by a resident dermatologist.
Because the tumors were so numerous and considerable in size, the normal treatment, which is surgery, was out of the question. The situation seemed bleak.
Aware of the possibility of there being a connection between human papilloma virus (HPV) and some types of skin cancer, Dr. Anna Nichols had the idea of trying something more unconventional.
The procedure involved several sessions where 9-valent HPV vaccine was administered intratumoral, between March 2016 and February 2017. Within 11 months from the first injection, all the tumors disappeared and did not show any sign of reoccurrence.
Even though the doctors were expecting some slight improvements, no one could predict the actual success. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is number two on the list of the most common types of skin cancer and has a high chance of returning.
Now the patient is on her way to celebrating her 100th birthday thanks to the unusual approach. This was the first documented instance of complete regression from using the HPV vaccine for treating other forms of cancer.
The case is sure to spark new interest and more in-depth research into SCC.