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The role of the innate and adaptive immune responses in oral leukoplakia and oral proliferative verrucous leukoplakia

Grant number: 17/01438-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: May 01, 2017 - October 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Dentistry - Dental Clinics
Principal researcher:Andreia Bufalino
Grantee:Andreia Bufalino
Home Institution: Faculdade de Odontologia (FOAr). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil


Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) accounts for more than 95% of all malignancies involving the oral cavity, and often these tumors are preceded by clinical alterations that have a clear potential for malignant transformation, which are denominated oral potentially malignant disorders (OPMDs). Among these, Oral Leukoplakia (OL) is the most important and has a malignant transformation rate ranging from 0.2% to 17.5%. Another important OPMD is Proliferative Verrucous Leukoplakia (PVL), which presents persistent and progressive malignant behavior, with a malignant transformation rate greater than 70%. Differently from OL, risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol and areca do not seem to be associated with the development of PVL. Additionally, a PVL presents an inadequate response to all treatment modalities, undergoes rapid spread for multiple oral sites and often presents recurrence. Recent studies and preliminary data obtained by our group suggest that the inflammatory infiltrate associated with the lesions of patients with PVL is related to the etiology and/or distinct clinical behavior from the conventional OL. Thus, this study intends to carry out a comparative analysis between OL and PVL samples consisting of: (1) evaluating a density and activation state of dendritic cells, (2) evaluating a density and polarization of macrophages M1 and M2, (3) evaluate the percentage and identify the subtypes of T-helpers lymphocytes and activation state of T-cytotoxic lymphocytes, and (4) determining the effect of soluble products and/or direct contact of dysplastic cells on the modulation of innate and adaptive immunity and evaluate whether such modulation confers or not an advantage to the tumor progression. (AU)

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