The Relevance of Mast Cells in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma 1803-1807
Lt Col (Dr.) Vineet Singh,
Commanding Officer, Military Dental Centre,
Bairagarh, Bhopal-46203, India.
Context: The commonly occurring oral neoplasm – Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC) has an association with the chronic inflammation in the adjacent connective tissue. Mast cells are the local residents of the connective tissue. They are said to be pro inflammatory and immune-amplifying in action and they produce mitogenic cytokines. They exhibit a phenotypic plasticity with a change in the microenvironment, thus making the role of the mast cells in this disease even more intriguing. Mast cells have also been reported to play a role in tumour progression and metastases by promoting angiogenesis.
Aims: The present study aimed at comparing the Mast Cell Density (MCD) in the Normal Oral Mucosa (NM) and among the various grades of OSCC and at analyzing the possible role of the mast cells.
Settings and Design: The MCD was assessed by using the 1% Toluidine blue stain in a study sample of 102 cases of different grades of OSCC and in 07 cases of clinically normal oral mucosa.
Statistical Analysis Used: By using the Student’s ‘t’ test and one way ANOVA, the Mast Cell Density (MSD) was found to be significantly higher in well differentiated squamous cell carcinoma and in moderately differentiated squamous cell carcinoma as compared to that in the poorly differentiated oral squamous cell carcinoma (P=< 0.01) which was significant at a 1% level. The Spearman’s Rank Correlation Co-efficient revealed a significant correlation between the density of the mast cells and the increasing grade of the OSCC.
Conclusions: These findings denote that as the squamous cell carcinoma enters the poorly differentiated state, there may be some change which is reflected as a decrease in the mast cell density.