Different patterns of expression of cell cycle control and local invasion‐related proteins in oral squamous cell carcinoma affecting young patients

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Oral cancer is the sixth most prevalent human cancer,1 but it is the most common malignancy in some Asian countries2 due to local cultural and social habits.3 Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most prevalent histological subtype (over 90% of cases) and typically affects males in the fifth and sixth decades of life, with a strong association with tobacco and alcohol use.4 In the past, OSCC affecting patients younger than 40 years was uncommon, representing 4% of all patients5; however, recent epidemiological studies have demonstrated a higher incidence in this age group of up to 18.7%.6
The clinical and behavioral characteristics of tumors in this group are controversial, and the literature shows divergent results; in spite of a number of reviews suggesting the characteristics of the tumors in young people are the same as those found in the elderly,9 other studies describe important differences between the groups.11
A better understanding of the molecular basis of OSCC would contribute to our understanding of its biological profile and clinical behavior. Hence, analysis of known proteins of the cell cycle and local invasion that reflect the biological properties acquired during the complex development of tumors13 would determine if any significant difference exists between neoplasms affecting young and old subjects. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the clinicopathological features and prognostic significance of the immunoexpression of a large panel of regulatory proteins involved in cell cycle control and local invasion in OSCC affecting young and elderly patients. We tested the hypothesis that OSCC from young patients presents different patterns of expression for cell cycle control and local invasion‐related proteins when compared to OSCC of older patients.
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