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Characterization of epithelial cell activity in patients with oral cancer

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Peter Thomson


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Accurate, predictive assessment of the clinical behaviour and progression of individual oral cancers and premalignant lesions requires reproducible and quantitative analyses of diseased tissue. In this paper we describe the use of in vitro double labelling (sequential tritiated thymidine and bromodeoxyuridine staining of proliferating epithelial cells) to calculate S phase labelling indices (LIs), estimation of S phase duration (t(s)), and measurement of variables of flux to and from S for excised specimens of oral squamous cell carcinoma, premalignant lesions, and clinically normal mucosa from patients with oral cancer. There was a significant increase in mean LIs in buccal mucosa leukoplakias (14.5%) compared with normal mucosa (10.3%); P = 0.03. LIs were also increased in patients with cancers of the floor of mouth and ventral tongue but neither these changes nor alterations in flux parameters or S Phase durations were significant. Twenty-one kinetic profiles of dysplastic and malignant tissue were compared with conventional histopathological results, however, and these showed a 2.2% increase in LIs with each increase in grade of dysplasia (P = 0.004) and a 12% increase in LIs with each reduction in tumour differentiation (P = 0.02).

Publication metadata

Author(s): Thomson PJ; Potten CS; Appleton DR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Year: 1999

Volume: 37

Issue: 5

Pages: 384-390

Print publication date: 01/10/1999

ISSN (print): 0266-4356

ISSN (electronic): 1532-1940

Publisher: Churchill Livingstone


DOI: 10.1054/bjom.1999.0147

PubMed id: 10577753


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