Apoptosis in tongue squamous cell carcinoma and its correlation with clinically occult cervical metastasis
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Squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue is one of the most common head and neck cancer. Treatment in the early stages is still controversial. This study aims to correlate the apoptosis rate of primary tongue cancer with cervical node metastasis, found in the histopathological studies of specimens obtained from neck dissections or during clinical follow-up. Twenty patients, 65% males, mean age 64.5 years, without clinical evidence of cervical metastasis was included. Eighty-five percent were smokers and 40% were alcohol abusers. Mann-Whitney test was used for statistical analysis (p <= 0.05). Five patients with clinically occult cervical metastases had metastasis in the histopathological specimens (25%) occult metastasis. The mean apoptosis rate in patients without cervical metastasis was 9.43%. Twenty-five percent of the patients had occult cervical metastasis. High apoptosis rate in tongue cancer, even in the absence of palpable neck nodes, correlates with the presence of occult metastasis. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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