Oral Pathology pp 147-177 | Cite as

Importance of Proliferation Markers in Oral Pathology

  • K. A. A. S. Warnakulasuriya
  • N. W. Johnson
Part of the Current Topics in Pathology book series (CT PATHOLOGY, volume 90)


Disturbances in growth, including the carcinogenic process, are often linked with an increased rate of cell proliferation, usually combined with sustained hyperplasia (Iverson 1992). As a result, over the past three decades, there has been considerable interest in markers of cell proliferation that can be used as indicators of the clinical aggressiveness of human neoplasms, additional to what can be judged from histology alone. The hope is that such markers will have value in prognosis and treatment planning. It is necessary at the outset to understand that the significance of “proliferative activity” depends on the number of cells undergoing programmed cell death or apoptosis (Wyllie 1993) in a given compartment of cells. Aspects of cell proliferation have, however, been studied more extensively, and data taking apoptosis into account are limited. In this chapter we review, mainly in quantitative terms, the major parameters useful in understanding the kinetics of cell proliferation and look critically at the methodology used, with particular reference to epithelial systems and to oral mucosal disease. Data derived from many studies examining the cell kinetics of both oral and some other head and neck malignancies (particularly squamous cell carcinomas, SCC), potentially malignant lesions of the oral mucosa and a few other oral diseases of interest are presented. The usefulness of such investigations in understanding the pathogenesis of oral diseases and their potential value as diagnostic and prognostic markers in the discipline of oral pathology is addressed.


Proliferate Cell Nuclear Antigen Pleomorphic Adenoma Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Lichen Planus Nucleolar Organisation Region 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. A. A. S. Warnakulasuriya
  • N. W. Johnson

There are no affiliations available

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