A study on assessment of mast cells in oral squamous cell carcinoma
Background: Apart from the role of mast cells in maintenance of homeostasis and inflammation, their association with tumors has been described recently. In several malignancies, mast cell density has been found to correlate with angiogenesis, increased risk of metastasis and poor prognosis.
Aim: The aim of the following study is to compare the number, topography and distribution of mast cells between normal oral mucosa and oral oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and study the significance of mast cells in development of oral SCC.
Subjects and Methods: A prospective case‑control study including 100 patients was conducted after obtaining informed consent and ethical committee clearance. Forty cases were normal controls and 60 cases had oral SCC. Biopsy was performed and both qualitative and quantitative study of mast cells was done. Statistical analysis was carried out using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 17.0 version (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA).
Results: Buccal/labial mucosa was the most common site of lesion in SCC. Total mast cells count was a higher in SCC when compared with controls, which was a statistically significant (P < 0.001). SCC had significantly (P < 0.001) higher levels of degranulated mast cell.
Conclusion: Role of mast cells in tumors may have direct clinical relevance and consequently, important clinical implications. Mast cells serves as a novel therapeutic target for cancer treatment and that inhibiting mast cell function may inhibit tumor growth.
Keywords: Mast cells, Oral squamous cell carcinoma, Toluidine blue stain