Unmet Needs and Perspectives in Oral Cancer Prevention

Jebrane Bouaoud, Paolo Bossi, Moshe Elkabets, Sandra Schmitz, Léon C. van Kempen, Pierre Martinez, Sankar Jagadeeshan, Ingrid Breuskin, Gerwin J. Puppels, Caroline Hoffmann, Keith D. Hunter, Christian Simon, Jean Pascal Machiels, Vincent Grégoire, Chloé Bertolus, Ruud H. Brakenhoff, Senada Koljenović, Pierre Saintigny

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Oral potentially malignant disorders (OPMD) may precede oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Reported rates of malignant transformation of OPMD range from 3 to 50%. While some clinical, histological, and molecular factors have been associated with a high-risk OPMD, they are, to date, insufficiently accurate for treatment decision-making. Moreover, this range highlights differences in the clinical definition of OPMD, variation in follow-up periods, and molecular and biological heterogeneity of OPMD. Finally, while treatment of OPMD may improve outcome, standard therapy has been shown to be ineffective to prevent OSCC development in patients with OPMD. In this perspective paper, several experts discuss the main challenges in oral cancer prevention, in particular the need to (i) to define an OPMD classification system by integrating new pathological and molecular characteristics, aiming (ii) to better identify OPMD at high risk of malignant transformation, and (iii) to develop treatment strategies to eradicate OPMD or prevent malignant transformation.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1815
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • diagnosis
  • oral cancer
  • oral potentially malignant disorders
  • oral preneoplasia
  • prevention

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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