Prognostic Ability of Expression of Myofibroblasts in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Document Type : Systematic Review and Meta-analysis


1 Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, D Y Patil Dental School, Pune.

2 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, D Y Patil Dental School, Pune.

3 Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Bharti Vidyapeeth Deemed to be University Dental College and Hospital, Navi Mumbai, Pune.

4 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Dr. D. Y. Patil Dental College and Hospital, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri., Pune.

5 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, M. A. Rangoonwala College of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Pune.


Aim: To systematically review the existing scientific literature in providing a comprehensive, quantitative analysis on the prognostic ability of Cancer Associated Fibroblasts (CAFs) in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC) a novel meta-analysis. Methods: Review was performed in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines and registered in PROSPERO – CRD CRD42023467899. Electronic databases were searched for studies having data on effect of CAFs on overall survival rate and disease prognosis in patients with OSCC, oral epithelial dysplasia (OED) compared to normal healthy controls. Quality assessment of included was evaluated through Newcastle Ottawa scale (NOS) for included studies through its domains. The hazard ratio (HR) and risk ratio (RR) was used as summary statistic measure with random effect model and p value <0.05 as statistically significant. Results: Twenty studies fulfilled the eligibility criteria and were included in qualitative synthesis and eighteen studies for meta -analysis. Included studies had moderate to low risk of bias. It was observed through the pooled estimate that overall survival rate - (HR) =2.30 (1.71 – 3.10) was lesser in group with high CAFs compared to low CAFs while pooled estimate through RR =1.53 (0.73 – 3.19) and RR = 5.72 (2.40 – 13.59) signified that overall survival rate was lower n OSCC patients with high CAF compared to patients with OED and healthy controls. Publication bias through the funnel plot showed asymmetric distribution with presence of systematic heterogeneity indicating presence of publication bias. Conclusion: Abundance of CAFs in tumor stroma of OSCC patients is associated with overall poor survival rate and poor disease prognosis. CAFs acts as a good prognostic and therapeutic marker in disease progression and advancements and should be assessed early to reduce patient’s mortality and morbidity.


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