Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 Jun;15(6):1061-77.

Smoking and smokeless tobacco-associated human buccal cell mutations and their association with oral cancer--a review.

Author information

Department of Immunology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA.


Reported herein are the results of a structured literature review that was undertaken to (a) determine if human buccal (mouth) cell changes are associated with smoking and smokeless ("chewing") tobacco, (b) tabulate different buccal cell alterations that have been reported, (c) delineate buccal cell assays that have been used successfully, (d) determine whether buccal cell changes correlate with oral cancer as defined in clinicopathologic investigations, and (e) assess the feasibility of developing a high-throughput buccal cell assay for screening smokers for the early detection of oral cancer. The results of the studies reported herein have established that diverse buccal cell changes are associated with smoking and smokeless tobacco. This review documents also that buccal cells have been collected in a noninvasive manner, and repetitively for serial studies, from different sites of the mouth (e.g., cheek, gum, and tongue) and from normal tissue, preneoplastic lesions (leukoplakia), and malignant tumors. Tobacco-associated genetic mutations and nongenetic changes have been reported; a partial listing includes (a) micronuclei, (b) bacterial adherence, (c) genetic mutations, (d) DNA polymorphisms, (d) carcinogen-DNA adducts, and (e) chromosomal abnormalities. Clinical studies have correlated buccal cell changes with malignant tumors, and some oral oncologists have reported that the buccal cell changes are practical biomarkers. Summarily, the literature has established that buccal cells are useful not only for characterizing the molecular mechanisms underlying tobacco-associated oral cancers but also as exfoliative cells that express diverse changes that offer promise as candidate biomarkers for the early detection of oral cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center