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J Oral Pathol Med. 2009 Nov;38(10):737-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0714.2009.00804.x.

Molecular markers in oral epithelial dysplasia: review.

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1
Department of Oral Medicine and Pathology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

Abstract

The clinical and histologic features alone cannot accurately predict whether potentially malignant disorders of the oral mucosa remain stable, regress or progress to malignancy. Some of them, with or without epithelial dysplasia, may transform to invasive oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC). Identification of molecular markers which can predict disease progression is necessary to improve the management of these disorders. Many genes and signaling pathways have been shown to be involved in the development of OSCC. This review summarizes some molecular markers researched in the detection of pre-cancer. We highlight selected markers that are reported to be significantly associated with progression of potentially malignant disorders to OSCC. These include alterations in genes/pathways which control cellular signaling, cell cycle, apoptosis, genomic stability, cytoskeleton, angiogenesis, etc. However, these genetic tumor markers have so far not gained any use in routine diagnosis and their utility in the prediction of risk of malignant transformation remains unknown. It is, however, clear from the large number of studies, some described in this review, that multiple genes/pathways are involved in the progression from normal to metaplastic/dysplastic, and subsequently to cancer. It is therefore necessary to study those significant alterations in multiple genes simultaneously in biopsy samples from large cohorts of subjects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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