Pattern of invasion of oral squamous cell carcinoma and its relation to the presence of nodal metastases – a review

K. Kopecká1,2, R. Pink1,2

1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospital Olomouc, Czech Republic

2 Faculty of Medicine, Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic


Squamous cell carcinomas of the oral cavity represent the largest group of malignancies in this area. Currently, there are many prognostic histopathological factors, according to which the maxillofacial surgeon in collaboration with the oncologist is able to determine the prognosis and subsequently also set an appropriate therapy. Nowadays, the squamous cell carcinoma invasion pattern in the area of the “invasive tumor front” seems to be a very important prognostic factor. The invasion pattern is connected to metastatic potential (and to the presence of subclinical microscopic metastases) and may well be the answer to why even early-stage tumors do not respond to standard therapy. That is to say, based on varying invasion pattern, oral cavity squamous cell carcinomas with identical TNM manifest varying clinical behavior and growth tendencies and a varying metastatic potential.

Key words

squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity – pattern of invasion – metastatic potential – submicroscopic metastases – invasive front – prognosis – worst pattern of invasion (WPOI)

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