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J Oral Pathol Med. 2014 Apr;43(4):239-44. doi: 10.1111/jop.12088. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

Is there any benefit in surgery for potentially malignant disorders of the oral cavity?

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Royal London Hospital, London, UK.


Oral epithelial dysplasia grading is currently recognised as the most useful prognostic indicator for predicting conversion of potentially malignant disorders of the oral cavity to squamous cell carcinoma. It is also used as a basis for deciding management options. However, the diagnosis of oral epithelial dysplasia is subjective and thus unreliable. Surgery is currently recommended for removal of high-risk lesions; however, the evidence for its success is lacking, and in some cases, there have been reports of increased recurrence of malignancy following surgical excision. Molecular and genetic markers have been identified and show promising results in identifying which potential malignant disorders are at risk of malignant transformation. The current evidence available for prognosis of potential malignant disorders and its treatment is based on observational and retrospective data. No randomised control trials have been conducted to date to assess the efficacy of surgery in oral epithelial dysplasia. Until good quality evidence is available from well-designed randomised control trials, experts still recommend the surgical removal of potential malignant disorders which are regarded as high risk.


leukoplakia; oral epithelial dysplasia; potentially malignant disorder; surgery

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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