Diagnostic modalities for squamous cell carcinoma: an extensive review of literature-considering toluidine blue as a useful adjunct.

Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas have been considered as the most prevalent malignancies in the head and neck region and are frequently undiagnosed until symptomatic with an advanced stage of disease. So there is an urgent need to device methods for the detection of oral premalignant lesions and oral cancer at an early stage in order to improve the survival rate for patients. A number of tests have been done for the detection of oral cancer which include oral brush biopsy, the Vizilite, oral autofluorescence including chemiluscence, photodynamic detection, toluidine blue staining, methylene blue staining, incisional biopsy and many more.
The article reviews various diagnostic modalities available at present for detection of squamous cell carcinomas and oral epithelial dysplasias based on advanced PUBMED search of the English language literature from the year 1972 to present in order to help us select the most suitable among them fulfilling the desired criteria of being non-invasive, highly specific and sensitive, economically viable, having a scope to be used for mass screening, easy to process, having low inter examiner variability and possibly not requiring high expertise to conduct and interpret the results.
After reviewing various diagnostic modalities, we conclude that toluidine blue staining emerges as a clear winner among all these and it can act as a valuable adjunct to incisional biopsy in detection of oral cancer and may not substitute it except in certain circumstances when its results are carefully correlated with the patient history and clinical characteristics of the mucosal disorder, considering the fact that incisional biopsy has been reported to cause dissemination of cancer cells in the circulation there by increasing the possibility of metastasis. We must emphasize that toludine blue is a screening modality and not a diagnostic procedure like biopsy and hence cannot replace a confirmatory biopsy as a whole.
AuthorsNaveen Chhabra, Shruti Chhabra, Nitin Sapra
JournalJournal of maxillofacial and oral surgery (J Maxillofac Oral Surg) Vol. 14 Issue 2 Pg. 188-200 (Jun 2015) ISSN: 0972-8279 [Print] India
PMID26028834 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)

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