Purpose: Stromal elements play a key role in growth and development of different neoplasms. Myofibroblastsare the major components and occur in stromal tissue during carcinogenesis processes. The purpose of this studywas to review the frequency and the distribution pattern of myofibroblasts(αSMA-positive) in the stroma ofsquamous epithelial carcinoma and to compare values with those for with oral dysplasia and hyperkeratosis.
Methods: we evaluated αSMA protein frequency in hyperkeratosis (N =18), oral epithelial dysplasia (N=18)and oral squamous cell carcinoma (N=18) using immunohistochemistry.
Results: αSMA-positive expressionwas observed in 67% of OSCC tissue samples with network and spindle patterns, whereas it was seen in 22%with a focal pattern in dysplasia and in 6% with a scanty pattern in hyperkeratosis cases.
Conclusion: Thesefindings suggest that an increase in number of myofibroblasts and change in their distribution pattern occursduring carcinogenesis which can be an expression of their role in tumor invasive characteristics.