Progress in determining the malignant potential of oral lesions

J Oral Pathol Med. 2003 May;32(5):251-6. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0714.2003.00108.x.


The dilemma in managing patients with potentially malignant oral lesions and field change is of deciding which mucosal lesions or areas will progress to carcinoma. Although dysplasia may be predictive, this is not invariable, and there can be considerable inter- and intraexaminer variation in that diagnosis. Recent data on molecular and DNA changes in potentially malignant lesions suggest that it is now feasible to identify those lesions that are truly potentially malignant.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Progression
  • Erythroplasia / pathology*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • Leukoplakia / pathology*
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53