Aneuploidy and loss of heterozygosity as risk markers for malignant transformation in oral mucosa

Edward W. Odell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to predict malignant transformation in oral potentially malignant disorders would inform targeted treatment, provide prognostic information and allow secondary prevention. DNA ploidy and loss of heterozygosity assays are already in clinical use, and loss of heterozygosity has been used in prospective clinical trials. This review appraises published evidence of predictive ability and explores interpretation of heterogeneous studies, with different diagnostic methods, criteria and intention. Both methods have a sound biological foundation and have predictive value independent of dysplasia grading and clinical parameters. The application of these two techniques cannot be directly compared because of differences in expression of results and application to populations of different risk. Predicting malignant transformation accurately on an individual patient basis is not yet possible with either technique. However, they are valuable applications to stratify patients for inclusion in trials, identify the lowest risk patients and exclude risk when biopsy results are indeterminate for dysplasia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1993-2007
Number of pages15
JournalOral Diseases
Issue number8
Early online date26 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • DNA ploidy
  • leukoplakia
  • loss of heterozygosity
  • oral cancer
  • oral potentially malignant disorder
  • premalignancy


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