A retrospective correlative study between histologic tumor thickness and nodal dendritic cells in oral squamous cell carcinoma

Shailja Chatterjee, Sumita Mahajan


Aims and Objectives: Histological tumor thickness is an important parameter in prediction of nodal metastasis over T of TNM staging system. This study analyzed tumor thickness in proven cases of squamous cell carcinoma of buccal mucosa (n=60) to derive a significant depth at which the nodes are histologically positive for metastasis.  Dendritic cells are potent antigen presenting cells that play a role in antitumor immune response. Counting of paracortical dendritic cells’ population in regional lymph nodes was done for estimation of immune response in metastatic and non-metastatic nodes in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Materials and Methods: Tumor thickness was calculated by means of an ocular graticule standardized at 4X magnification. Nodal biopsies (n=60) from these cases were selected and immunohistochemistry performed using Streptavidin Biotin method using anti-S100 antibody in both metastatic (n=30) and non-metastatic (n=30) lymph nodes. Results: Study results showed that a tumor thickness exceeded more than 2.25 mm, lymph node metastasis was present. A cut-off value of 15 dendritic cells per unit area was derived below which the nodes show evidence of metastasis. Two-tailed T test was done for statistical analysis. A significant correlation (P=0.028) between nodal status and dendritic cell population was found. Conclusion: The cut-off values obtained in tumor thickness and nodal dendritic cell counting can aid in predicting the immunocompetence of an individual suffering from oral squamous cell carcinoma.


dendritic cells; paracortex; lymph nodes; squamous cell carcinoma; metastasis;

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