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Eur J Cancer B Oral Oncol. 1995 May;31B(3):174-80.

Prognostic evaluation of HPV-associated precancerous and microinvasive carcinoma of the oral cavity: combined use of nucleolar organiser regions (AgNOR) and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA).

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  • 1Institute of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Naples Federico II, Faculty of Medicine, Italy.


Nucleolar Organiser Regions (NORs) and Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA) were investigated on routine paraffin embedded histologic sections of 30 oral biopsy specimens (six cases of leukoplakia with low-degree of dysplasia, nine cases of leukoplakia with moderate-degree of dysplasia, nine cases of leukoplakia with severe-degree of dysplasia, six cases of squamous microinvasive carcinomas), tested for HPV-DNA by in situ hybridisation (ISH). The absolute number of NORs per nucleus and the percentage of nuclear positivity for PCNA were found to be different in each group of pathology, with further diversity due to the presence or absence of HPV-DNA. In the major part of HPV-positive lesions, the AgNOR number and percentage of cells positive for PCNA were found to be generally lower than in corresponding negative forms. Conversely, a few cases of HPV+ lesions showed significantly higher values both of AgNOR and PCNA, if compared to the other cases of HPV+ and HPV- lesions. These data suggested that high values of AgNOR and PCNA, in moderate and high grade oral dysplasia, could represent an "alarm signal" of a worse prognosis, and then a possible indication for a strict clinical management and/or a stronger treatment of some HPV-associated preneoplastic lesions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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