Prognostic value of DNA ploidy status in patients with oral leukoplakia

J.F. Bremmer, R.H. Brakenhoff, M.A.M. Broeckaert, J.A.M. Beliën, C.R. Leemans, E. Bloemena, I. van der Waal, B.J.M. Braakhuis

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Oral leukoplakia is a potentially malignant disorder that will develop into oral cancer at an estimated rate of 1-2% per year. Aim of the present study is to assess the possible predictive value of DNA ploidy for malignant progression of oral leukoplakia.
A cohort of 62 leukoplakia patients was studied and their biopsy was examined with standard histopathology and DNA image cytometry. Cox regression analysis was performed to establish the relationship between progression-free survival and the DNA ploidy status.
During the follow-up time (median of 69 months) 13 patients developed an oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). DNA aneuploidy was observed in 27 (44%) patients and was significantly associated with a shorter progression-free survival [Hazard ratio of 3.7, 95% confidence intervals (CI) of 1.1 and 13.0 and a p-value of 0.04]. Sensitivity and specificity scores were 54% and 60%, respectively. Aneuploidy was not correlated with dysplasia grading (chi-square analysis).
DNA aneuploidy in oral leukoplakia is associated with an increased risk of progression to OSCC. However, for the individual leukoplakia patient, DNA ploidy status as single biomarker has limited value to predict progression to cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)956-960
JournalOral Oncology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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