Background: Various mucosal lesions are frequently encountered in the oral cavity. Neither macroscopic nor microscopic evaluation of these lesions gives any reliable information concerning the risk of cancer development.
Material and methods: From 21 patients, 29 mucosal lesions were found to precede development of invasive squamous cell carcinoma or carcinoma in situ at the same location. The lesions were matched to 29 control lesions, with the same grade of dysplasia and from exactly the same locations but without subsequent cancer during a mean follow up of 112 months (46-194). The specimens were evaluated using Image Cytometry DNA analysis and immunohistochemical analysis of p53 and p21/WAF1 expression.
Results: Lesions prior to carcinomatous development displayed a higher degree of DNA aberration as compared with the control lesions. p53 and p21/WAF1 evaluation did not reveal any differences between cases and controls.
Conclusion: Image Cytometry DNA analysis is an useful adjunct to histopathological evaluation of oral mucosal lesions for prediction of risk of malignant transformation.