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Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2019 Sep 1;24(5):e603-e609. doi: 10.4317/medoral.23011.

Oral squamous cell carcinoma of tongue: Histological risk assessment. A pilot study.

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Faculty of Odontology, Rey Juan Carlos University, Avenida de Atenas s/n, 28922 Alcorcón, Madrid (Spain),



More than 90% of malignant tumors diagnosed in the oral cavity are Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas (OSCC) whose preferred location is the tongue. Classically, this disease has affected men preferentially, although recent studies suggest that trends are changing and the proportion of women with OSCC is increasing. In addition, the prevalence of oral cancer is also determined by some risk factors as alcohol consumption and tobacco. Currently, the Tumor, Node, Metastasis (TNM) classification is employed to defined tumor stage and based on this guide specific treatments are established. However, 5-year-survival does not exceed 50% of cases. The objective of this study is to determine whether a histological risk pattern indicative of higher recurrence might be present in T1-T2 tumors located in the anterior two thirds of the tongue.


Samples from 26 patients with OSCC were analyzed and histological risk pattern of recurrent and non-recurrent tumors were compared. We have analyzed histological variables described in Anneroth and Brandwein-Gensler classifications. Additionally, we have also examined both clinical variables such as age, sex or comorbidities, as well as habits such as tobacco or alcohol consumption.


We found that sex (male) and keratinization degree (high or moderate) are directly related with OSCC recurrence. In fact, free illness time is lower in men and higher in those cases with minimal or no keratinization.


Based on the variables analyzed, it has not been possible to establish a histological risk pattern that, complementary to the TNM classification, could have a predictive role in these early-stage tongue carcinomas.

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