Understanding carcinogenesis for fighting oral cancer

J Oncol. 2011;2011:603740. doi: 10.1155/2011/603740. Epub 2011 May 12.


Oral cancer is one of the major global threats to public health. Oral cancer development is a tobacco-related multistep and multifocal process involving field cancerization and carcinogenesis. The rationale for molecular-targeted prevention of oral cancer is promising. Biomarkers of genomic instability, including aneuploidy and allelic imbalance, are able to measure the cancer risk of oral premalignancies. Understanding of the biology of oral carcinogenesis will give us important advances for detecting high-risk patients, monitoring preventive interventions, assessing cancer risk, and pharmacogenomics. In addition, novel chemopreventive agents based on molecular mechanisms and targets against oral cancers will be derived from research using appropriate animal carcinogenesis models. New approaches, such as interventions with molecular-targeted agents and agent combinations in high-risk oral individuals, are undoubtedly needed to reduce the devastating worldwide consequences of oral malignancy.