Does Angiogenesis Have a Role in the Formation of Malignant Leukoplakia?

recent dental study was conducted by multiple contributors on the development of malignant oral leukoplakia. The dental study was based in Germany at the University Medical Centre in Rostock. The researchers sought to assess how angiogenesis plays a part in the formation of malignant oral leukoplakia. By using histological preparations of oral tissue with no, mild, moderate, and severe leukoplakia, the researchers evaluated vessel density and diameter to analyze the rate of vessel growth during dysplasia.

Cancer, in all its forms, is known as an abnormal growth formation of multiplying cells, also known as reverse apoptosis. For the cancer to grow, it must be fed with oxygen and nutrients. Cancers are fed by blood vessels that have branched out from larger vessels. And this process of new cell formation is known as Angiogenesis. It’s a critical component in cell growth, so much that Angiogenesis inhibitor drugs like Bevacizumad and Thalidomide were once thought to be the cure for cancer. Although researchers over the years have faced limitations with ant-angiogenic therapy, inhibitors are still used as an effective treatment for cancer.

In the dental study, tissue with leukoplakia/hyperkeratosis were analyzed in four different phases. One group presented no signs of dysplasia. The second group showed mild dysplasia. The tissue in the third group had moderate signs of dysplasia. The tissue in the fourth group presented leukoplakia-derivative oral squamous carcinoma. The researchers also analyzed the expression of vascular endothelia growth factor (VEGF-A).

The results of the study were clear. The researchers found that micro-vessel density didn’t change throughout the progression of dysplasia. There was no difference in the preparations without dysplasia and the preparations squamous cell carcinoma. But vessel diameter increased throughout the progression of dysplasia. The vessel diameter in the preparation with squamous carcinoma were significantly increased compared to the preparation without dysplasia. Additionally, VEGA-F expression increased throughout the transition process. Therefore, Angiogenesis and VEGA-F expression was shown to increase throughout the transition of early leukoplakia to oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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