Molecular and cellular cues of diet-associated oral carcinogenesis--with an emphasis on areca-nut-induced oral cancer development

J Oral Pathol Med. 2015 Mar;44(3):167-77. doi: 10.1111/jop.12171. Epub 2014 Feb 17.


In modern times, potent dietary carcinogens are key contributors for neoplastic development. For oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), one of the leading cancer types in developing countries, main oncogenic inducers/enhancers, including areca nut chewing, tobacco smoking, and alcohol consumption, were shown to promote cancer initiation/progression. Over decades, studies from different laboratories have identified underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms for carcinogen-induced OSCC. In this review, we will give an overview of where we are in understanding potential oral carcinogenic factors stimulated OSCC tumorigenesis, especially those associated with areca nut chewing in Asians, aiming to provide future scope of possible interception.

Keywords: areca nut; curcumin; oral cancer; tea polyphenol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Areca / adverse effects*
  • Areca / chemistry
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / etiology*
  • Cytotoxins / adverse effects
  • Cytotoxins / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Mouth Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Mutagens / adverse effects
  • Mutagens / chemistry
  • Nuts / adverse effects*
  • Nuts / chemistry


  • Cytotoxins
  • Mutagens