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J Contemp Dent Pract. 2011 Nov 1;12(6):451-6.

Alterations in serum lipid profile patterns in oral squamous cell carcinoma patients.

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Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology Sri Rajiv Gandhi College of Dental Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka India.



Altered lipid profile patterns have been associated with malignancies because lipids play a pivotal role in the maintenance of cell integrity. The present study evaluated alterations in serum lipid profile in oral squamous cell carcinoma patients as well as its association with the habit of tobacco consumption.


The study included 30 oral squamous cell carcinoma patients, 20 patients with the habit of tobacco consumption and 20 controls. Serum lipids, including (i) total cholesterol, (ii) LDL cholesterol (LDLC), (iii) HDL cholesterol (HDLC), (iv) VLDL cholesterol (VLDLC) and (v) triglycerides, were analyzed by spectrophotometric kits.


A significant decrease in serum total cholesterol (TC) levels, triglyceride levels (p = 0.007, p = 0.029 respectively) were observed in oral squamous cell carcinoma patients as compared to the healthy control group. The mean serum HDLC levels (p = 0.003) were significantly lowered in the tobacco habituates when compared to the healthy controls. The mean serum total cholesterol levels were significantly lower in subjects with oral squamous cell carcinoma (p = 0.000) as compared to the tobacco habituates. Likewise, LDLC levels and TC:HDLC ratios (p = 0.000 and p = 0.000 respectively) were significantly decreased in oral squamous cell carcinoma patients as compared to the tobacco habituates. Our data strengthens the evidence of an inverse relationship between serum lipid levels and oral squamous cell carcinoma.


The lower level of serum cholesterol and other lipid constituents in the patients is thought to be due to their increased usage by tumor cells for new membrane biogenesis.


The lower serum lipid profile status serves as a useful indicator for gauging initial changes occurring in tumor cells. A detailed study of the cholesterol carrying lipoprotein transport mechanisms helps in better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the regulation of serum cholesterol concentrations in cancer.

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