Contrary to popular belief that it may take years for the HPV vaccine to be truly effective, Texas researchers reported they were able to completely clear all oral papillomas due to the HPV virus in an adult within 3 months of vaccination.
Specifically, they reported that a man in his 60s who suffered from recurrent oral papillomas in spite of multiple excisions was clear of all lesions within 3 months after receiving the quadrivalent HPV vaccine. Interestingly, this patient had HPV-32 which is not part of the HPV vaccine (HPV-16, 18, 6, 11).
Apparently, this is not an isolated case. In the reported literature, 8 others have noted the same improvement. Time to improvement was seen within 4 weeks of vaccination and resolution after 3 to 8 months.
Given these promising findings, quadrivalent HPV vaccination may certainly be worth pursuing in any patients of any gender at any age suffering from oral/airway papillomas.
Currently, there are two FDA approved HPV vaccines. The bivalent HPV vaccine (Cervarix) which addresses HPV 16 and 18 and the quadrivalent HPV vaccine (Gardasil) which prevents four HPV types: HPV 16 and 18, as well as HPV 6 and 11. Only the quadrivalent vaccine is licensed for use in males.
Both vaccines are administered through a series of 3 intra-muscular injections over a 6-month period. The second and third doses should be given 2 and 6 months after the first dose.
Effect of Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccination on Oral Squamous Cell Papillomas. JAMA Dermatol. Published online September 02, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.2805