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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2007 Mar;65(3):475-84.

Histopathological and lymphangiogenic parameters in relation to lymph node metastasis in early stage oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Oral Infection and Immunity Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-4532, USA.



Lymph node metastasis from oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) correlates with a poor prognosis. Therefore, accurate assessment of lymph node status is crucial in treatment planning. Furthermore, prediction of delayed neck metastasis (DNM), especially in early stage tumors with a clinically negative (N0) neck, will determine the need for neck dissection or irradiation. In this study, we assess various clinical, histopathological and lymphangiogenic parameters in early stage oral SCC and their association with DNM.


Clinical, histological, and immunohistochemical analyses were undertaken for 29 patients with T1N0M0 or T2N0M0 oral SCC affecting the tongue or floor of mouth and correlated with the development of DNM.


Tumor thickness, nuclear pleomorphism, pattern of invasion, and immunohistochemical expression of the lymphangiogenesis-associated molecules VEGFR-3 and VEGF-C were associated with DNM.


Analysis of these parameters may help to identify patients who would benefit from a neck dissection or irradiation by predicting the likelihood of lymph node metastasis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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