Mild to moderate dysplasia at surgical margin is a significant indicator of survival in patients with oral cancer

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The objective of this study was to investigate the significance of mild and moderate dysplasia at the surgical margin with regard to survival and locoregional recurrence.

Study Design.

We investigated cases of primary oral squamous cell carcinoma with negative margins retrospectively from the database of a tertiary cancer hospital. All patients had been treated between January 2010 and December 2012, and margin dysplasia was investigated in a multivariate analysis for locoregional recurrence and overall survival.


Of a total of 425 patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria, 28 patients had mild dysplasia, and 29 patients had moderate dysplasia; median period of follow-up was 46.63 ± 10.04 (standard deviation) months. Most of the patients with mild and moderate dysplasia in the margin were tobacco users (P = .007). Univariate analysis showed lower rates of survival among the patients with margin dysplasia (mild + moderate) (P = .043), and the multivariate cox regression revealed moderate dysplasia at the margin as an independent significant factor for survival (P < .0001) when adjusted with other cofounders.


Patients with mild or moderate dysplasia at surgical margin were often tobacco users, and moderate dysplasia in the margin is an independent significant indicator for survival of patients with oral cancer in this single-institution, retrospective study.

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