The Link Between Genes and Oral Cancer

A study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research reports that a pattern of chromosomal changes can predict which patients with premalignant oral lesions will go on to cancer.

Researchers studied 296 patients with mild or moderate oral dysplasia and is encouraging news that may help with early diagnosis and prevention.

Researchers are discovering the link between chromosomes and oral cancer.

“The results of our study should help to build awareness that not everyone with a low-grade oral premalignant lesion will progress to cancer,” Miriam Rosin, PhD, of the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver said in a statement. “However, they should also begin to give clinicians a better idea of which patients need closer follow-up.”

The study found that a loss of heterozygosity on the short arms of chromosomes 3 and 9 was associated with progression of oral lesions. That’s a really scientific way to say a loss of function in a portion of a gene can indicate progression toward oral cancer.

Information gathered from the test subjects resulted in the conclusion by the research team that two out of every three high-risk cases are progressing. Identifying which early lesions are more likely to progress will give doctors a chance to step in for high-risk cases and also prevent unnecessary treatment for low-risk patients.

This is a fantastic advance in treatment of oral cancers and we are hopeful that this will result in the reduction of cases.

“In the future we may be able to predict the risks of different types of oral cancer by a simple tissue screening.” Says Dr. Wagner, “And this will give us a bigger window for treatment options.”

If you have any questions about lesions or sores in your mouth contact us at Wagner Oral Surgery. We can examine you and see if you need further treatment.

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