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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2012;13(11):5811-5.

Assessment of cellular proliferation in oral verrucous carcinoma and well-differentiated oral squamous cell carcinoma using Ki67: a non-reliable factor for differential diagnosis?

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  • 1Dental Research Center, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Dental School, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.



Non-invasive oral verrucous carcinoma (OVC) and invasive well-differentiated oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) have similar histopathologic findings but different biological behavior. These two malignancies must be correctly differentiated by pathologists. The aim of this study was to determine immunohistochemical (IHC) expression of Ki67 in OVC and well-differentiated OSCC.


Expression of Ki67 was evaluated by IHC in 15 cases of epithelial hyperplasia with no dysplasia (A group), 15 cases of OVC (B group), 12 cases of microinvasive OSCC(C group) and 15 cases of well-differentiated OSCC (D group).


There was a significant difference in Ki67 expression based on pattern distribution of immunostaining positive cells, with quantitative and semi-quantitative analyses, among the four groups ; also, between A group and each of the other three groups (P=0.0001). But there was no significant difference between B and C, C and D, and B and D groups (P>0.05).


The three evaluation methods of Ki67 expression showed Ki67 (Mib-1) is not a good immunohistochemical marker to assess invasion status and differentiate OVC from well-differentiated OSCC; also, it cannot be used as a diagnostic tool to distinguish between variants of OSCC with similar grade.

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