This current study has been designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of giving seven injections of PepCan or placebo over approximately a 24-month period in subjects with head and neck cancers who achieved remission. PepCan may prove to be beneficial in treating many stages of HPV-related malignancies starting from infection to cancer. Safety, efficacy in terms of reduced cancer recurrence, immunological responses and profiles, and gut microbiome changes will be assessed.



Eligible Ages
Over 18 Years
Eligible Genders
Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion Criteria

  1. Able to provide informed consent
  2. Male or female 18 years of age or older
  3. Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck who have completed curative therapy (surgery and/or radiation and/or chemotherapy) therapy within the previous 90 days with negative surgical margins and/or without evidence of disease radiologically by a scan such as computer tomography and/or positive emission tomography.
  4. Performance status of Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) 0-2
  5. No Evidence of Disease (NED) based on clinical and/or radiographic evaluations
  6. Vital Signs recorded
  7. Blood pressure (≤160/95 mm Hg acceptable)
  8. Heart rate (50-100 beats per min acceptable)
  9. Respiratory rate (≥ 12 ≤25 breaths per min acceptable)
  10. Temperature (≤100°F acceptable)
  11. Blood work done at Screening Visit
  12. White count (≥3x109/L acceptable)
  13. Hemoglobin (≥ 7 g/dL acceptable)
  14. Willing and able to comply with the requirements of the protocol

Exclusion Criteria

  1. Positive urine pregnancy test for women of childbearing potential
  2. Being pregnant or attempting to be pregnant with the period of study participation
  3. Women who are breast feeding or plan to breast feed within the period of study participation
  4. Patients who are allergic to Candin® or yeast
  5. History of severe asthma requiring emergency room visit or hospitalization within the past 5 years
  6. Patients who have previously received PepCan
  7. History of recurrence of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck
  8. If in the opinion of the Principal Investigator or other Investigators, it is not in the best interest of the patient to enter or continue in this study

Study Design

Phase 1/Phase 2
Study Type
Intervention Model
Parallel Assignment
Intervention Model Description
7 injections of PepCan (50 μg per peptide dose) or placebo (saline) at a 3:1 ratio in a randomized double-blinded design.
Primary Purpose
Double (Participant, Investigator)

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
Vaccine regimen consisting of seven injections of PepCan (50 μg per peptide dose)
  • Biological: PepCan
    PepCan vaccination
Placebo Comparator
Vaccine regimen consisting of seven injections of placebo (saline) to mimic PepCan
  • Biological: Placebo
    saline vaccination to mimic PepCan

Recruiting Locations

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205
James Ike Allred, BA, CCRP

More Details

University of Arkansas

Study Contact

Aaron J Holley

Detailed Description

This is a Phase I/II study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of an HPV therapeutic vaccine called PepCan (HPV-16 E6 peptides) in adults over a two (2) year period. Each subject will be receiving a total of 7 injections of PepCan (50 µg per peptide dose) or placebo (saline) at a 3:1 ratio in a randomized double-blinded design. Subjects will receive one injection every 3 weeks until they receive 4 injections. Then, subjects will receive one injection every 3 months until they receive a total of 7 injections. Subjects will have 2 more visits approximately 6 months apart after the last injection. Immunological assessment by enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay will be made at 4 time points (Visits 1, 5, 8, and 9), and by fluorescent activated cell sorter analysis will be made at times points at Visits 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Oral wash samples and stool samples will be collected at the Screening Visit, Visit 5, Visit 7 and Visit 8 for microbiome diversity analysis.


Study information shown on this site is derived from ClinicalTrials.gov (a public registry operated by the National Institutes of Health). The listing of studies provided is not certain to be all studies for which you might be eligible. Furthermore, study eligibility requirements can be difficult to understand and may change over time, so it is wise to speak with your medical care provider and individual research study teams when making decisions related to participation.