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β-catenin expression in perilesional area of different grades of oral squamous cell carcinoma

Marwa A. Hamied

College of Dentistry, University of Sulaimani



Objectives: Background: Multistep carcinogenesis discusses a stepwise accumulation of alterations, both genotypic and phenotypic. Arresting one or several of the steps may disturb or delay the development of cancer. Current guidelines describe histopathologic margin of >5 mm as “clear margin” and 1-5 mm as “close margin”. β-catenin plays a critical structural role in mediating cadherin junctions and is also an essential transcriptional co-activator in the canonical Wnt pathway. A predictor marker is needed to confirm the clearance of margins surrounding a resected tumor. The current study aim is to assess β-catenin expression at the perilesional area of OSCC and relate such expression to OSCC histopathological grading.

Materials and Methods:
Immunohistochemical evaluation of β-catenin expression at the perilesional area of 25 OSCC and ten normal oral mucosae from archival paraffin blocks was done. The sections were assessed according to the ability of surface epithelium at the perilesional area of OSCC in showing normal expression pattern of β-catenin in the oral mucosa.

Normal oral epithelium showed strong β-catenin expression at the cell membrane, but no cytoplasmic or nuclear expression. There was no significant difference between the immunoreactivity for β-catenin in the perilesional area of the different histological grade of OSCCs.

β-catenin expression does not represent a valuable tool to predict the free margin.

Keywords: β-catenin, perilesional area, immunohistochemistry.


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