Detection of apoptotic cells in whole saliva of patients with oral premalignant and malignant lesions: A preliminary study


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Abstract

ObjectiveThe purpose of this study was to identify and measure apoptotic cells in whole saliva of patients with oral premalignant and malignant lesions and explore its utility as a prognostic indicator.Study designA fluorescent TUNEL technique (APO-BrdU TUNEL) modified by our lab was applied to unstimulated whole saliva from 8 healthy volunteers, 16 patients with oral leukoplakia and/or lichen planus, 10 untreated and 5 treated cases with oral malignant lesion.ResultsThe apoptotic cells in whole saliva were detected in 4 groups of study subjects. The apoptotic cells demonstrated morphology similar to normal exfoliated epithelial cells of oral mucosa. The fraction of apoptotic cell in treated malignant patients (18.18±12.65) was significantly higher than that in healthy volunteers (6.99±6.52), premalignant patients (4.43±5.52), and untreated malignant patients (3.40±5.14) (P < .05).ConclusionDetection of apoptotic epithelial cells in whole saliva appears to have some clinical potential in monitoring reaction to chemoradiotherapy and may reveal some insight into the mechanism of oral carcinogenesis.

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