Tobacco and oral squamous cell carcinoma: A review of carcinogenic pathways
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Department of Pediatric Dentistry, State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases, Shanghai, China
Publication date: 2019-10-12
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2019;17(Suppl 1):A67
Tobacco is one of the most important risk factors for premature death globally. More than 60 toxic chemicals in tobacco can invade the body's various systems. Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a pathological type of oral cancer, accounting for over 90% of oral cancer. A vast quantity of scientific, clinical and epidemiological data shows that tobacco is associated with the development of oral squamous cell carcinoma, and its carcinogenic pathways may be complicated.

We conducted a thorough electronic search by Cochrane, EMBASE and PubMed to identify relevant studies. Studies published up to the end of October 2018 were included. After assessing and selecting articles based on eligibility criteria, studies were classified and elaborated according to the pathogenesis.

Tobacco as an important risk factor can cause epigenetic alteration of oral epithelial cells, inhibit multiple systemic immune functions of the host, and use its toxic metabolites to cause oxidative stress on tissues to reach the purpose of inducing OSCC. In addition, some specific viruses such as EBV, HPV are thought to play roles in the development of OSCC.

Oral cancer ranks eighth among the most common causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and tobacco is one the most important carcinogenic factors of OSCC. The review of the literature attempts to provide directions and ideas for future related researches, as well as call on everyone to take efforts to reduce the amount of tobacco consumption.