Molecular events in relapsed oral squamous cell carcinoma: Recurrence vs. secondary primary tumor

Oral Oncol. 2015 Aug;51(8):738-44. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2015.04.016. Epub 2015 May 16.


Relapses have a great impact on both the morbidity and mortality rates of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) patients. Current classification criteria are imprecise and need improvements. Recent advances in understanding of OSCC relapses on a molecular level provide new possibilities to better classify true recurrences and second primary tumors. This review discusses the limitations of the current OSCC relapse classification method and presents possible alternatives to improve this classification based on molecular techniques. Moreover, these molecular techniques add to the further understanding of these lesions and may provide tools for clinical management.

Keywords: Molecular diagnosis; Oral cancer; Recurrence; Relapse; Second primary neoplasm; Squamous cell carcinoma.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / genetics
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • Mouth Neoplasms / genetics
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / genetics
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology*
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / pathology*