Late oral mucosa alterations after radiotherapy for head and neck cancer assessed by exfoliative cytology

Patrizia Massaro, Franco Corbella, Riccardo Di Liberto, Alessandro Paolini, Francesca Pasi, Carmine Tinelli, Annalisa De Silvestri, Rosanna Nano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Aim: Late oral mucosa changes after radiotherapy for head and neck cancer have been poorly studied. This study aimed to determine long-term effects of radiotherapy on oral mucosa using exfoliative oral cytology. Patients and Methods: Fifty patients with cancer were enrolled, five of whom in order to validate microscopic analysis. Smears were collected at programmed visit; a score was used to rank possible cytological alterations. Presence of inflammation was also microscopically described and compared to blood count tests. Results: Epithelial cells revealed a peculiar 'folding' phenotype, not related to chemotherapy, total dose, or to the effective dose delivered to mucosa. Inflammation described was related to the score for 'folding' cells; moreover, score decreased in the presence of a higher lymphocyte count, while it was not altered by neutrophil count. Conclusion: We suggest application of exfoliative cytology to study radiation injury and the variability of individual response of oral mucosa to radiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-844
Number of pages8
JournalAnticancer Research
Volume34
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2014

Keywords

  • Exfoliative cytology
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Normal tissue toxicity
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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