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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2017, Article ID 7285656, 10 pages
Research Article

Lymphangiogenesis in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Correlation with VEGF-C Expression and Lymph Node Metastasis

1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Faculty of Oral & Dental Medicine, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt
2Department of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt

Correspondence should be addressed to Manar A. Abdul-Aziz; moc.oohay@ssinaw.m

Received 29 December 2016; Revised 20 April 2017; Accepted 14 May 2017; Published 7 June 2017

Academic Editor: Tommaso Lombardi

Copyright © 2017 Manar A. Abdul-Aziz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most common oral malignancy that preferentially spreads to the cervical lymph node which, when involved, complicates the anticancer therapy and threatens the patient life. It was suggested that lymph node metastasis may be facilitated by lymphangiogenesis. VEGF-C is one of the most important lymphangiogenic inducers that promotes the lymphatic vessels growth and supports the survival of adult lymphatic endothelial cells. Methods. Lymphatic vessels density (LVD) and LV morphometry were digitally evaluated using D2-40. The expression of VEGF-C was also assessed using immunohistochemistry and real-time polymerase chain reaction in 6 normal oral mucosa cases and 72 cases of OSCC. The correlation between LVD and LV morphometry, VEGF-C, and lymph node metastasis was statistically assessed. Results. A positive cytoplasmic expression of VEGF-C was detected in both epithelial and connective tissue cells in 97% of OSCC, while all normal tissues reacted negatively. A greater expression of VEGF-C was associated with larger and more dilated LV and lymph node metastasis but not with LVD. Conclusion. VEGF-C is actively involved in the invasion and metastasis of OSCC via inducing morphological changes in LV. VEGF-C may be a promising target for anticancer therapy.