Background & Objective: The present study investigated the relationship between invasive front (IF) of tumors and clinicopathological parameters including stage, grade, nodal involvement, lymphocytic host response (LHR), recurrence, overall survival (OS), and disease-free survival (DFS).
Methods: A total of 87 oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) biopsies were evaluated. Clinical stage, grading, nodal involvement, time of recurrence, OS, and DFS were assessed. The number of tumor budding cells in the IF was measured by two pathologists with an optic microscope. IF was graded to low risk (<5) and high risk (>5), according to the counting of tumor budding as a single cancer cell or cluster cells. Also, LHR was reported in the IF as mild, moderate, and severe.
Results: IF was reported in 43.7% of patients as a low-risk group and 49.4% as a high-risk group. LHR was also mild in 31%, moderate in 25.3%, and severe in 43.7% of the patients. Most of the patients were in stage IV (31%) and grade 1 (60.9%). The high risk IF group had a significant statistical relationship with stage (P=0.001), grade (P=0.039), five years OS (P=0.03), five years DSF (P=0.01), and lymph node involvement (P=0.007). The relation between LHR and stage of disease was significant (P=0.034).
Conclusion: Considering the important role of histopathological reports in the treatment plan of patients and the relationship between IF and clinical parameters, IF evaluation in routine histopathological examinations, especially in the early stages of OSCC, seems to be necessary.